28th June – 01st July 2021

Franziska Turck


Franziska Turck graduated with a degree in Biotechnology from the Ecole Supérieure de Biotechnologie de Strasbourg, but soon realized that her career was going towards solving problems in basic science. After a PhD on the TOR/ribosomal S6 kinase pathway in plants at the Friedrich Miescher Institute in Basel, her interest became fixed on the interplay of transcription factors and chromatin organization in regulating plant development. Her group at the MPIPZ in Cologne has contributed major break-throughs in the field of Polycomb Group mediated gene repression in plants.

Short affiliation

Max Planck Institute for Plant Breeding Research, Department of Plant Developmental Biology, Cologne, Germany. https://www.mpipz.mpg.de/turck

Talk title and synopsis

Pinpointing regulation in epigenetic gene regulation

Polycomb group repressive protein complexes (PRCs) act through the establishment of repressive epigenetic marks at specific chromatin regions. PRCs are essential for the development of higher eukaryotes, which is mainly attributed to their role in providing target genes with a persisting memory of transcriptional repression. In recent years, we and others have reported progress on the research question how PRC complexes find their target genes in plants. Notably, two transcription factor families, belonging to the B3 domain transcription factors or the telomere repeat binding MYB-familyrecruit distinct PRC complexes and the corresponding cis-motifs distribute along target regions, with a high occurrence within gene bodies. We propose that cis-motifs compete for PRC complexes, which cooperate to stabilize the epigenetic state. The relative concertation of cis-motifs defines a target genes’ epigenetic stability thus orchestrating a coordinated regulation of distinct sets of Polycomb Group target genes.

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