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Title: “Long-distance Regulatory Elements in Plant Genomes”

Host: Susan Wessler

Abstract: A handful of long-distance transcriptional regulatory regions have been described in plants (e.g. the enhancers located ~60kb upstream of the maize tb1 gene). However, the prevalence, characteristics and functional importance of long-distance regulatory regions in plant genomes remain poorly understood. By profiling and comparing genome-wide patterns of chromatin accessibility, DNA methylation, RNA polymerase activity as well as histone modifications and variants, we identified thousands of putative regulatory regions in the intergenic space in a number of plant species. These regions are devoid of heterochromatic features such as DNA methylation or H3K9me2, but are associated with distinct sets of chromatin signatures that resemble those found at proximal transcription factor binding sites. The identification, characterization, large-scale functional validation and evolutionary analyses of these long-distance regulatory regions will be presented.