We are interested in understanding the intersection of genetics, genomics, epigenomics and plant development, with a focus on flower development. By leveraging large datasets and utilizing different computational methods we are better able to investigate the biology underlying plant development.
Flower development is one of the best understood and economically most important developmental processes in plants. It serves as a model system to understand organ specification and cellular differentiation in plants, starting from pools of undifferentiated ‘stem cells’ residing in meristems. Flower development is controlled by the action of key-regulatory transcription factors, which 'read' the genomic information (cis-regulatory code) and coordinate gene expression to generate specific organ morphologies.
The goal of our research is to understand how a small number of key regulatory transcription factors (TFs) coordinates gene expression in order to generate specific floral organ morphologies, and how the functions of these factors diversified to create the great diversity of flower morphologies seen in nature.