Mediator: A new concept for controlled gene expression in plant biotechnology (2011–2013)
The Mediator protein complex, discovered by 2007 Nobel laureate Roger Kornberg, plays an important role as a 'universal adaptor' for gene activation. Despite its fundamental role in gene regulation, the existence of Mediator in plants has been virtually unknown. The recent purification of Mediator from Arabidopsis opened up yet unexplored opportunities to study its role in diverse plant processes. Our studies have shown that at least 3 Mediator subunits regulate disease resistance and flowering in plants. This project aims to (1) decipher the molecular mechanisms involved in Mediator function to direct gene expression and (2) to harness this new concept to develop biotechnological applications in plants such as disease and pest resistance.