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Indiana University Bloomington

Department of Biology

Graduate Studies

Genetics, Cellular & Molecular Sciences Training Grant

Trainee Profile

Alexander Porambo

Photo of Alexander Porambo
Research Image(s)

H3K9 tagged nuclei highlighting the presence of chromocenters in the crop species, Solanum lycopersicum

H3K9 tagged nuclei highlighting the presence of chromocenters in the crop species, Solanum lycopersicum.

Graduate Student
Contact Information
By telephone: 812-856-0355 (lab)
MY 359
Michaels Lab
Department of Biology:
Genome, Cell & Developmental Biology
B.S. Cell and Molecular Biology, 2013, Grand Valley State University
NIH GCMS Training Grant (2014-2015)
Floyd Plant and Fungal Biology Summer Fellowship, Indiana University (2014)
NCI-ICBP Summer Fellow (REU), Dr. Carolina Livi, UTHSCSA (2012)
Research Description

I focus on heterochromatic DNA organization in the model organism Arabidopsis thaliana. Our lab has shown in A. thaliana that two methyl transferase proteins Arabidopsis Trithorax-Related proteins (ATXR5/6) have redundant activity as histone monomethyl transferases (H3K27me1). The double mutant of atrx5/6 causes a noticeable reduction of H3K27me1 within heterochromatic sites known as chromocenters. DNA repair, gene regulation, and stability of the genome are thought to be associated with these chromocenters.  It is my goal to start the characterization of these events across multiple high order plant species. This approach will help elucidate common themes of chromatin structure, chromatin organization, and DNA damage response across species of complex crop plants. By comparing the organization and structure of chromatin within the nucleus it will allow for a systematic approach to understanding chromatin dynamics along phylogenetic lines. The management of chromatin over diverse crop species is key to understanding the multiple paths for DNA organization used and in turn will help with the study of gene activation/repression along with genome stability and DNA repair mechanisms in plants.  This research will help in furthering understanding of complex crop species of plant chromatin structure and their function. 

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