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Dr Sofia Otero

Dr Sofia Otero

Research Associate

Sainsbury Laboratory
University of Cambridge
47 Bateman Street

Cambridge CB2 1LR


During my PhD I worked on epigenetics, particularly on the histone H3 family in Arabidopsis, in the lab of Crisanto Gutierrez. I have been a postdoc in the Helariutta lab since June 2015, where I study phloem development in the Arabidopsis root. I am particularly interested in understanding the identity of the cells that surround the sieve element, the pipe that transports the nutrients from green leaves to non-photosynthetic tissues. To pursue this objective, I received a Herchel Smith Fellowship in 2017. In addition, I am interested in understanding the biogenesis of plasmodesmata.

I am also a college lecturer at Newnham College and supervise Plant and Microbial Sciences and Physiology of Organisms.

Connect with Dr Otero

Twitter: @Gene_Tonic_

Key Publications

Otero, S., Helariutta, Y. (2016) Companion cells: a diamond in the rough. J. Exp. Bot. 68(1):71-78. 

Otero, S.+, Desvoyes, B.+, Peiró, R., Gutierrez, C. (2016) Histone H3 dynamics reveal domains with distinct proliferation potential in the Arabidopsis root. The Plant Cell 28(6):1361-71 +Co-first authors

Otero, S., Helariutta, Y., Benitez-Alfonso, Y. (2016) Symplastic communication in organ formation and tissue patterning. Curr Opin Plant Biol 29, 21-28.

Stroud, H.+, Otero, S.+, Desvoyes, B., Ramirez-Parra, E., Jacobsen, S.E., Gutierrez, C. (2012) Genome-wide analysis of histone H3.1 and H3.3 variants in Arabidopsis thaliana. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 109(14): 5370-5375 +Co-first authors