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Dr Matthias Benoit

Dr Matthias Benoit

Research Associate

Sainsbury Laboratory
University of Cambridge
47 Bateman Street

Cambridge CB2 1LR
Office Phone: +44(0)1223 761100


My research focuses on the developmental, environmental and epigenetic regulation of tomato retrotransposons. In particular, I study transcriptional activation and downstream steps in the retrotransposon life cycle that potentially lead to new insertions. My main interests are in fruit development and ripening, and in plants subjected to biotic stress, particularly viral infection. I am also working to establish and characterize plants deficient in the RdDM pathway and in chromatin remodellers and modifiers that are likely to interfere with retrotransposon control.


Previous Work

During my PhD, I performed a comprehensive analysis of histone variants and histone chaperones during Arabidopsis seed germination and established their role in chromatin organisation during this important period of plant growth. This work revealed the critical role of H3 chaperones in maintenance of nucleosomal occupancy and transcriptional gene silencing (Duc et al., 2015), and in the overall establishment of heterochromatic domains (Benoit et al., 2013, Benoit et al., submitted), thus identifying H3 chaperone activity as a driving force in formation and maintenance of eukaryotic genome structure.

Key Publications

The histone chaperone complex HIR maintains nucleosome occupancy and counterbalances impaired histone deposition in CAF-1 complex mutants. Duc C, Benoit M, Le Goff S, Simon L, Poulet A, Cotterell S, Tatout C, Probst AV. Plant J. 2015 Mar;81(5):707-22.

Heterochromatin dynamics during developmental transitions in Arabidopsis - a focus on ribosomal DNA loci. Benoit M, Layat E, Tourmente S, Probst AV. Gene. 2013 Aug 15;526(1):39-45. Review.