Systemic gene silencing in Arabidopsis, and relevance to plant biology (2015–2018)
Gene silencing is a highly conserved process in plants and animals. It is of fundamental importance to gene
regulation, virus defence, genome response to environment, and genome evolution. Remarkably, when gene
silencing is triggered in plants it can spread throughout the organism. The aim of this project is to define the
mechanism of intercellular movement of gene silencing in plants, and its relevance to plant growth and
defence against pathogens. Expected outcomes include increased understanding of intercellular genetic
signalling in plants and its role in plant growth and disease resistance. The findings may also shed new light
on mechanisms of gene silencing in animals.