Doris Wagner


Ph.D., University of California, Berkeley

Postdoc, California Center of Technology, Pasadena

Research Interests

Plant adaptability

Our research focuses on the reprogramming of cell identity and function during developmental transitions and in response to environmental inputs in plants. Reprogramming offers a window of opportunity to unravel the regulatory logic that underlies cell fate and function as existing programs are shut down and new ones are put in place. Plants are an excellent experimental system to study reprogramming as they tailor their final form and cell function to the environment to optimize growth and survival. Understanding how to reprogram plant architecture and stress responses will enable precision tuning of adaptability and resilience of in changing environments. We use genetic, epigenomic, computational, molecular, spatial transcriptomics, biochemical and synthetic biology approaches to study this question.

Shoot architecture wiring

Shoot architecture, in particular when and where flowers form, is critical for reproductive success and yield in a given environment. Altering shoot architecture has revolutionized agriculture. We are delineating the ‘wiring plan’ of shoot architecture with the aim to understand integration of systemic signals into local cell fate changes driven by gene regulatory networks for cell fate and lineage decisions. Insight gained will enable precise modulation of shoot architecture.

Reprogramming chromatin for enhanced response to stress

Chromatin is at the interface between the genome and the environment. We are dissecting the role of transcription factors and chromatin regulators, in particular chromatin remodeling ATPases and Polycomb, in chromatin state changes that underpin response to extrinsic and intrinsic cues during development and to allow plant survival in adverse conditions. Insight gained will enable epigenome reprogramming for enhanced adaptability and resilience.


Lab website

Courses Taught

BIOL 101: Introductory Biology

BIOL/CAMB 483: Epigenetics

Selected Publications
CV (file)