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Sainsbury Laboratory


Research Interests

I am interested in studying the survival strategies of plants under stressful environments. I want to examine how survival might be affected by variability – differences between genetically identical individuals under the same physiological conditions. Non-genetic variability remains largely unexplored in multicellular organisms. Preliminary data from the Locke-lab shows high levels of variability in abiotic stress response gene expression, both between plants and at the sub-tissue and cellular levels. I am using Arabidopsis to study the mechanistic basis and functionality for variability in gene expression during plant growth and abiotic stress response. My work will also allow for the first time a mapping between gene expression variability at the level of the organism and at the single cell level.

Previous work 

Plants can use physical properties as instructive signals. In my PhD project, I uncovered important roles of nuclear morpho-mechanics in the regulation of gene expression during stress-response. Using hyperosmotic stress to impose hydrostatic force on root meristem nuclei, I showed for the first time that nuclear morphology and stiffness is sensitive to the plant’s environment and is regulated by gel-like chromatin.


Key Publications

Goswami RAsnacios A, Milani P, Graindorge S, Houlné G, Mutterer J, Hamant O, Chabouté M-E (2020) Mechanical Shielding in Plant Nuclei. Current Biology 30:2013-2025.e3.  

Goswami RAsnacios A, Hamant O and Chabouté ME (2020) Is the plant nucleus a mechanical rheostat? Current Opinion in Plant Biology 2020, 57:155–163.

Research Associate
Dr Rituparna  Goswami

Contact Details

Sainsbury Laboratory
University of Cambridge
47 Bateman Street
Cambridge CB2 1LR