Understanding Transcriptional Dynamics in Embryos


Drosophila embryo

Live Imaging & Chromatin Accessibility tools

UCSC dm6 genome browser tracks of representative loci showing Opa (3 hr) (navy blue), and Zld nc14 late (pink) ChIP-seq data for combined replicates (as indicated), as well as representative ATAC-seq data for individual nc14D embryos. Examples of late enhancer regions that significantly lose accessibility, compared to wt, either in sh_opa and opa1 mutants ( blue shaded box). Koromila et al., eLife


It is unclear how the genome is rapidly transformed from a transcriptionally inactive state to a transcriptionally active one at different developmental stages and in different cell types in the Drosophila embryo. Chromatin accessibility has an impact on how transcription factors interact with available regulatory elements. Once chromatin is active, specific DNA sequences (enhancers) are accessible for binding by proteins that regulate gene expression.


We aim to understand how accessibility adds a further dimension to the complex regulatory network that drives development and cell fate. In order to understand the dynamics of Transcription Factors we are intergrading genetics and molecular biology with whole-genome profiling and state of the art live imaging microscopy. Image quantification and computational analysis are also important aspects of our research.