Institute website

Plants have developed defence mechanisms to protect themselves from attack by foreign DNA molecules such as those that enter cells when plants are infected by a virus. One such defence mechanism works by generating small RNA molecules from the foreign DNA and using them to switch off genes in the foreign DNA by a process called RNA-mediated transcriptional gene silencing. Silencing happens due to a chemical alteration of the genes called methylation. Marjori studies this defence mechanism with her husband Antonius, and together they have discovered that the proteins DRD1 and MET1 are involved in the methylation process.