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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

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

Andrzej T.Wierzbicki, 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

Frederic 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.

Jeremy Haag and Craig S. Pikaard (2011) RNA Polymerases IV and V: orchestrators of RNA mediated transcriptional silencing in plants. Nature Reviews Mol. Cell Biol. 12: 483-492

Keith W. Earley, Frederic Pontvianne, Andrzej T. Wierzbicki, Todd Blevins, Sarah Tucker, Pedro Costa-Nunes, Olga Pontes and Craig S. Pikaard (2010). Complex roles of Arabidopsis HISTONE DEACETYLASE 6 in developmental silencing of rRNA gene variants: suppression of intergenic Pol II transcription and differential effects on maintenance versus siRNA-directed cytosine methylation. Genes & Development 24: 1119-1132.

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

Thomas S. Ream, Jeremy R. Haag, Andrzej Wierzbicki, Carrie D. Nicora, Angela Norbeck, Jian-Kang Zhu, Gretchen Hagen, Thomas J. Guilfoyle, Ljiljana Paša-Tolic and Craig S. Pikaard (2008). 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.

Preuss, Sasha, Pedro Costa-Nunes, Sarah Tucker, Olga Pontes, Richard J. Lawrence, Rebecca Mosher, Kristin D. Kasschau, James C. Carrington, David C. Baulcombe, Wanda Viegas and Craig S. Pikaard (2008). Multi-megabase silencing in nucleolar dominance involves siRNA-directed DNA methylation and specific methylcytosine binding proteins. Molecular Cell 32:673-684.

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.

Li, Carey F., Olga Pontes, Mahmoud El-Shami, Ian R. Henderson, Yana V. Bernatavichute, Simon W.-L. Chan, Thierry Lagrange, Craig S. Pikaard, and Steven E. Jacobsen (2006). An ARGONAUTE-containing nuclear processing center co-localized with Cajal bodies in Arabidopsis thaliana. Cell 126:93-106.

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 120:613-62