PhD Confirmation of Candidature lecture, presented by Buddhini Ranawaka.
The Epigenetic Landscape of an Ancient Allo-tetraploid, Nicotiana benthamiana
Nicotiana benthamiana ‘Lab’ ecotype is an important biotechnological tool and a model plant for economically important crop family Solanaceae. It is an ancient allo-tetraploid which has undergone multiple rounds of polyploidization throughout its evolution. Intergenomic interactions between subgenomes in a polyploid are predicted to induce epigenetic modifications such as cytosine methylation and histone modifications of gene homologs. Histone modifications that lead to active and inactive transcription are categorised as euchromatic and heterochromatic marks, respectively. Cytosine methylation can be defined as post replicative addition of methyl group to C5 position of cytosine. It maintains the gene balance by preventing transposon movement and transcription. There is very little or no information available for the epigenetic landscape of N. benthamiana. The current study aims to unravel the epigenetic landscape of N. benthamiana mainly focusing on cytosine methylation and histone modifications while exploring mechanisms to regulate desired genes by manipulating epigenetic status.
ABOUT THE SPEAKER
Nicotiana benthamiana (PhD Confirmation of Candidature)
Buddhini Ranawaka completed her Bsc with first class Honours in Molecular Biology and Biotechnology at University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka in 2015. She then went on to work as a Research Assistant at the Department of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology, University of Peradeniya, until she started her PhD research at QUT under the guidance of Prof. Peter Waterhouse and Dr Fatima Naim.