Dr. Jean-Benoit F. Charron
Department of Plant Science, Room R2-022a
McGill University, Macdonald Campus
jean-benoit [dot] charron [at] mcgill [dot] ca (E-mail)
We have openings for graduate students for Summer and Fall 2010. Please contact Dr. Charron directly if interested.
LSCI 204 Genetics
BTEC 306 Experiments in Biotechnology
Stress conditions such as drought and extreme temperatures are the subject of intense research, as they limit crop productivity worldwide and generate substantial economic losses each year. Our lab studies the chromatin regulatory mechanisms that control stress tolerance in plants. Chromatin is a highly organized structure that can be modified via DNA methylation and/or histone marks. These chemical modifications can affect gene expression by modulating the local chromatin state to either an “open” (transcriptionally active) or “closed” (transcriptionally repressed) configuration. Together, these modifications serve as core components of a multifaceted concept called epigenetics, which, in addition to the genome sequence, provides another layer of genetic information referred to as the epigenome. The long term goal of our research is to understand how the dynamic tuning of the plant’s epigenome, upon perception of environmental stress conditions, translates the stress signals from the cellular environment into orchestrated responses from the DNA.
To study the chromatin dynamics we are using Brachypodium dystachyon (purple false brome) as a genetic model system. This monocotyledonous plant is a close relative of wheat and barley and is appealing for molecular studies because of its small genome and its ease of transformation. We are employing Brachypodium dystachyon in conjunction with a number of state-of-the-art molecular techniques to identify and functionally characterize chromatin modifying genes involved in stress response. The elucidation of the chromatin mechanisms controlling stress tolerance will ultimately lead to the development of strategies for the improvement of important crops.
Charron, J.B., He, H., Elling, A.A., and Deng, X.W. 2009. Dynamic landscapes of four histone modifications during de-etiolation in Arabidopsis. The Plant Cell. 21:3732-3748. IN BRIEF commentary
Zhou, J., Wang, X., He, K., Charron, J.B., Elling A.A., and Deng, X.W. 2009. Genome-wide profiling of histone H3 lysine 9 acetylation and dimethylation in Arabidopsis reveals correlation between multiple histone marks and gene expression. Plant Molecular Biology. Jan 7. [Epub ahead of print].
Charron, J.B., Ouellet, F., Houde, M., and Sarhan, F. 2008. The plant Apolipoprotein D ortholog protects Arabidopsis against oxidative stress. BMC Plant Biology. 8:86.
Guo, L., Zhou, J., Elling, A.A., Charron, J.B., and Deng, X.W. 2008. Histone modifications and expression of light-regulated genes in Arabidopsis are cooperatively influenced by changing light conditions. Plant Physiology. 147: 2070-2083.
Lee, J.H., Terzaghi, W., Gusmaroli, G., Charron, J.B., Yoon, H.J., Chen, H., He, Y.J., Xiong, Y., and Deng, X.W. 2008. Characterization of Arabidopsis and rice DWD proteins and their roles as substrate receptors for CUL4-RING E3 ubiquitin ligases. The Plant Cell. 20:152-167.
Charron, J.B., Ouellet, F., Pelletier, M., Danyluk, J., Chauve, C., and Sarhan, F. 2005. Identification, expression and evolutionary analyses of plant lipocalins. Plant Physiology. 139: 2017-2028.
Breton, G., Danyluk, J., Charron, J.B., and Sarhan, F. 2003. Expression profiling and bioinformatic analyses of a novel stress-regulated multispanning transmembrane protein family from cereals and Arabidopsis. Plant Physiology. 132: 64-74.
Frenette Charron, J.B., Breton, G., Badawi, M., and Sarhan, F. 2002. Molecular and structural analyses of a novel temperature stress-induced lipocalin from wheat and Arabidopsis. FEBS Letters. 517: 129-132.
Charron, J.B., Breton, G., Danyluk, J., Muzac, I., Ibrahim, R.K., and Sarhan, F. 2002. Molecular and biochemical characterization of a cold-regulated phosphoethanolamine N-methyltransferase from wheat. Plant Physiology. 129: 363-373.