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Indiana University Bloomington

Craig PikaardCraig Pikaard

Craig Pikaard
HHMI-GBMF Investigator and
Carlos O. Miller Professor,
Molecular and Cellular Biochemistry Department

Office: Myers Hall 300

Phone: 812/855-1874

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Lab Website


Ph.D., Purdue University, 1985


Biochemistry, genomics and cell biology of RNA-mediated gene silencing and epigenetic phenomena; structure and function of plant DNA-dependent RNA polymerases IV and V; genome-wide, epigenomic analyses of coding and noncoding RNAs and chromatin modifications.

Representative Publications

Haag, Jeremy R., Brent Brower-Toland, Elysia K. Krieger, Lyudmila Sidorenko, Carrie D. Nicora, Angela D. Norbeck, Andre Irsigler, Huachun LaRue, Jan Brzeski, Karen McGinnis, Sergey Ivashuta, Ljiljana Pasa-Tolic, Vicki L. Chandler, and Craig S. Pikaard (2014). Functional diversification of maize RNA polymerase IV and V subtypes via alternative catalytic subunits. Cell Reports 9: 378-390

Todd Blevins, Frédéric Pontvianne, Ross Cocklin, Ram Podicheti, Chinmayi Chandrasekhara, Satwica Yerneni, Chris Braun, Brandon Lee, Doug Rusch, Keithanne Mockaitis, Haixu Tang and Craig S. Pikaard (2014). A two-step process for epigenetic inheritance in Arabidopsis. Molecular Cell 54:30-42.

Frederic Pontvianne, Todd Blevins, Chinmayi Chandrasekhara, Iva Mozgova, Christiane Hassel, Olga M.F. Pontes, Sarah Tucker, Petr Mokros, Veronika Muchova, Jiri Fajkus, and Craig S. Pikaard (2013). Subnuclear partitioning of rRNA genes between the nucleolus and nucleoplasm reflects alternative epiallelic states. Genes and Development 27:1545–1550.

Jeremy R. Haag, Thomas S. Ream, Michelle Marasco, Carrie D. Nicora, Angela D. Norbeck, Ljiljana Pasa-Tolic and Craig S. Pikaard (2012). In vitro transcription activities of Pol IV, Pol V and RDR2 reveal coupling of Pol IV and RDR2 for dsRNA synthesis in plant RNA silencing. Molecular Cell 48:811-818.

Wierzbicki, A.T., Ross Cocklin, Anoop Mayampurath, Ryan Lister, M. Jordan Rowley, Brian D. Gregory, Joseph R. Ecker, Haixu Tang and Craig S. Pikaard (2012). Spatial and functional relationships among Pol V-associated loci, Pol IV-dependent siRNAs and cytosine methylation in the Arabidopsis epigenome. Genes & Development 26:1825-1836.

Ek Han Tan, Todd Blevins, Thomas Ream and Craig S. Pikaard (2012). Functional consequences of subunit diversity in RNA polymerases II and V. Cell Reports 1:208-214.

Frédéric Pontvianne, Chinmayi Chandrasekhara, Wei Feng, Todd Blevins, Hume Stroud, Steve E. Jacobsen, Scott D. Michaels and Craig S. Pikaard (2012).  Histone methyltransferases regulating rRNA gene dose and dosage control in Arabidopsis. Genes & Development 26:945-957

Thomas S. Ream, Jeremy R. Haag, Andrzej Wierzbicki, Carrie D. Nicora, Angela Norbeck, Jian-Kang Zhu, Gretchen Hagen, Thomas J. Guilfoyle, Ljiljana Paša-Tolić and Craig S. Pikaard (2009). Subunit compositions of the RNA silencing enzymes, Pol IV and Pol V reveal their origins as specialized forms of RNA Polymerase II. Molecular Cell 33, 192–203.

Andrzej Wierzbicki, Thomas Ream, Jeremy Haag and Craig S. Pikaard (2009). RNA Polymerase V transcription guides ARGONAUTE4 to chromatin. Nature Genetics 41: 630-634.

Wierzbicki, Andrzej, Jeremy Haag and Craig S. Pikaard (2008). Noncoding transcription by RNA Polymerase Pol IVb/Pol V mediates transcriptional silencing of overlapping and adjacent genes. Cell 135:635-648.

Pontes, Olga, Carey Fei Li, Pedro Costa Nunes, Jeremy Haag, Thomas Ream, Alexa Vitins, Steven E. Jacobsen and Craig S. Pikaard (2006). The Arabidopsis chromatin-modifying nuclear siRNA pathway involves a nucleolar RNA processing center. Cell 126: 79-92.

Onodera, Yasuyuki, Jeremy Haag, Thomas Ream, Pedro Costa Nunes, Olga Pontes and Craig S. Pikaard (2005). Plant Nuclear RNA polymerase IV mediates siRNA and DNA methylation-dependent heterochromatin formation. Cell 120:613-622