The floral repressor gene Flowering Locus C (FLC) is central to a plants decision to flower and is carefully regulated in order to synchronise flowering with appropriate seasons.
Regulation and ultimate silencing of this gene is a multistep process concluding with Polycomb mediated epigenetic switching. FLC is a model for understanding how genes are silenced by Polycomb complexes and its role in regulating the timing of flowering is of clear importance to agriculture.
Rob is investigating the role of transcription checkpoints in the regulation of FLC at the earliest steps of epigenetic switching.
Using cutting edge nascent mRNA sequencing techniques, Rob will identify regulatory regions that limit or enhance FLC transcription.