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Transcriptional noise between individuals in Arabidopsis thaliana

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Abstract: The regulation of gene expression is often noisy rather than being uniform. Identical cells can oscillate between different transcriptional burst states, such that at any one time they are likely to have quite different gene expression behaviours. However the mechanisms and potential biological roles of transcriptional noise are still poorly understood. Up to now, most studies on the role of transcriptional noise have been performed in unicellular organisms or in cell cultures and little is known about the role of transcriptional noise and how transcriptional noise is controlled in a multicellular organism. We are analysing transcriptional noise between genetically identical individuals in Arabidopsis thaliana using transcriptomic approaches. We identified highly variable and lowly variable genes between individuals over a 24 hours time-course. Highly variable genes are enriched for stress responsive genes and characterised by specific genomic and epigenomic features. During this seminar, the methods to detect highly variable genes will be described. Moreover, how expression variability between individuals could be controlled and what could be its relevance will be discussed.

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