Team 02: SILENT : Silencing, Environment and Transposons

Our research aims to delineate the molecular mechanisms of gene silencing. Using Arabidopsis as a model organism, we investigate how DNA methylation homeostasis is achieved, how epigenetic information influences genome stability and how environment modulates epigenetic processes.


We implement combinations of forward/reverse genetics and genomic approaches to understand the molecular bases of silencing mechanisms restraining gene expression and transposon activity. DNA methylation is a central epigenetic mark in silencing mechanisms and we are studying the mechanisms controlling genomic DNA methylation patterns. Additionally, we are characterizing the molecular bases of stress-induced release of silencing.

Research supported by:

Research thematics


Last Name First Name Position Contact
Maxime AUZON-CAPE profile picture AUZON-CAPE Maxime Ph.D Student
Pierre BOURGUET profile picture BOURGUET Pierre Ph.D Student
Amy HESKETH profile picture HESKETH Amy Ph.D Student
Olivier MATHIEU profile picture MATHIEU Olivier Principal Investigator
Marie-Noelle PELISSIER profile picture PELISSIER Marie-Noelle Research Engineer
Thierry PELISSIER profile picture PELISSIER Thierry Research Fellow


  • 2017
  • 2016
    • M. Rigal, C. Becker, T. Pelissier, R. Pogorelcnik, J. Devos, Y. Ikeda, D. Weigel and O. Mathieu, “Epigenome confrontation triggers immediate reprogramming of DNA methylation and transposon silencing in Arabidopsis thaliana F1 epihybrids.”, Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A., 2016.
    • M. Clavel, T. Pelissier, T. Montavon, M. Tschopp, M. Pouch-Pelissier, J. Descombin, V. Jean, P. Dunoyer, C. Bousquet-Antonelli and J. Deragon, “Evolutionary history of double-stranded RNA binding proteins in plants: identification of new cofactors involved in easiRNA biogenesis.”, Plant molecular biology, 2016.
  • 2015
    • M. Clavel, T. Pelissier, J. Descombin, V. Jean, C. Picart, C. Charbonel, J. Saez-Vasquez, C. Bousquet-Antonelli and J. Deragon, “Parallel action of AtDRB2 and RdDM in the control of transposable element expression.”, BMC Plant Biol., vol. 15 , pp. 70, 2015.
  • 2014
    • O. Mathieu and N. Bouche, “Interplay between chromatin and RNA processing.”, Curr. Opin. Plant Biol., vol. 18C , pp. 60–65, 2014.
  • 2012
    • M. Rigal, Z. Kevei, T. Pelissier and O. Mathieu, “DNA methylation in an intron of the IBM1 histone demethylase gene stabilizes chromatin modification patterns.”, EMBO J., vol. 31 (13) , pp. 2981–93, 2012.
    • T. Pélissier and O. Mathieu, “Glue for Jumping Elements: Epigenetic Means for Controlling Transposable Elements in Plants”, Plant Transposable Elements, pp. 125–145, 2012.
  • 2011
    • T. Pelissier, M. Clavel, C. Chaparro, M. Pouch-Pelissier, H. Vaucheret and J. Deragon, “Double-stranded RNA binding proteins DRB2 and DRB4 have an antagonistic impact on polymerase IV-dependent siRNA levels in Arabidopsis.”, RNA, vol. 17 (8) , pp. 1502–10, 2011.
    • M. Rigal and O. Mathieu, “A "mille-feuille" of silencing: epigenetic control of transposable elements.”, Biochim. Biophys. Acta, vol. 1809 (8) , pp. 452–8, 2011.
  • 2010
    • M. Tittel-Elmer, E. Bucher, L. Broger, O. Mathieu, J. Paszkowski and I. Vaillant, “Stress-induced activation of heterochromatic transcription.”, PLoS Genet., vol. 6 (10) , pp. e1001175, 2010.
  • 2009
    • S. Tsukahara, A. Kobayashi, A. Kawabe, O. Mathieu, A. Miura and T. Kakutani, “Bursts of retrotransposition reproduced in Arabidopsis.”, Nature, vol. 461 (7262) , pp. 423–6, 2009.
    • M. Mirouze, J. Reinders, E. Bucher, T. Nishimura, K. Schneeberger, S. Ossowski, J. Cao, D. Weigel, J. Paszkowski and O. Mathieu, “Selective epigenetic control of retrotransposition in Arabidopsis.”, Nature, vol. 461 (7262) , pp. 427–30, 2009.
  • 2008
    • S. Lageix, E. Lanet, M. Pouch-Pelissier, M. Espagnol, C. Robaglia, J. Deragon and T. Pelissier, “Arabidopsis eIF2alpha kinase GCN2 is essential for growth in stress conditions and is activated by wounding.”, BMC Plant Biol., vol. 8 , pp. 134, 2008.
    • M. Pouch-Pelissier, T. Pelissier, T. Elmayan, H. Vaucheret, D. Boko, M. Jantsch and J. Deragon, “SINE RNA induces severe developmental defects in Arabidopsis thaliana and interacts with HYL1 (DRB1), a key member of the DCL1 complex.”, PLoS Genet., vol. 4 (6) , pp. e1000096, 2008.
    • M. Caikovski, C. Yokthongwattana, Y. Habu, T. Nishimura, O. Mathieu and J. Paszkowski, “Divergent evolution of CHD3 proteins resulted in MOM1 refining epigenetic control in vascular plants.”, PLoS Genet., vol. 4 (8) , pp. e1000165, 2008.