Large-scale chromatin reprogramming occurs during reproductive development in plants, however, the mechanism and function of such reprogramming are unclear. Using a combination of proteomics and genomics, we will investigate factors responsible for the chromatin reconfiguration in the male sexual lineage, and through this elucidate its biological significance.
As germline fitness is directly related to reproductive success, answering these questions has implications for plant breeding. Moreover, germlines represent an excellent model to reveal basic principles of chromatin configuration, and shed light on how these principles can be employed to modify genome function. The model we use, Arabidopsisthaliana, has advantages in the accessibility of large germ cell populations and the mild phenotypes of chromatin mutants, in comparison to mammals. Our work therefore has the potential to generate pioneering knowledge about germline chromatin reconfiguration, which has common features in plants and mammals.