Xiaoqi Feng's Lab

Xiaoqi Feng is a plant geneticist at the John Innes Centre, Norwich, UK. Her lab studies the development and epigenetics of plant germlines.

Meet the lab!

Histone H2B.8 condenses plant sperm chromatin via phase separation

We report a histone variant, H2B.8, mediates sperm chromatin and nuclear condensation in Arabidopsis thaliana. We propose that H2B.8 is an evolutionary innovation of flowering plants that achieves nuclear condensation compatible with active transcription.

Nurse cell-derived small RNAs define paternal epigenetic inheritance

We report here that gentic methylation in the male germline, from meiocytes to sperm, is established by siRNAs transcribed from transposons with imperfect sequence homology.

Extensive N4 cytosine methylation in Marchantia sperm

We revealed extensive N4 cytosine methylation (4mC) in a eukaryote (Marchantia), identifies novel DNA methyltransferases, and demonstrates the biological function of 4mC during sexual development.

Male germline-specific DNA methylation

We discovered specific de novo methylation of genic loci in the male germline which is necessary for successful Arabidopsis meiosis.

Histone H1 depletion in pollen vegetative cells

We characterised the extent of TE expression in Arabidopsis pollen vegetative cells, and determined that their expression relies on loss of histone H1 in concert with the DEMETER demethylase.

Similarity of germline epigenetics in rice and Arabidopsis

In two back-to-back collaborative papers, we showed that germline cells have more robust DNA methylation in Arabidopsis and rice genomes, and that rice...