An evolutionary perspective on differential transcriptional regulation of zinc homeostasis genes in Arabidopsis thaliana and Thlaspi caerulescens

Zn is an essential micronutrient for all organisms, and plants can maintain their Zn homeostasis by regulated expression of transition metal transporter. Thlaspi caerulescens, a Zn/Cd/Ni hyperaccumulator, shares 88% cDNA sequence identity with the non-hyperaccumulator, Arabidopsis thaliana.

We are interested in comparative genetic analysis of differentially expressed zinc deficiency responsive genes from Thlaspi caerulescens and Arabidopsis thaliana. These are two related, but recently separated, plant species that differ in their adaptation to heavy metal exposure. The strong differential regulation of zinc deficiency response appears to be the key adaptive difference between both species, but its mode of action is not understood.

The objective is to identify genetic differences that cause this differential transcriptional regulation of zinc homeostasis at the molecular level and to understand the regulatory mode of action.


Ya-Fen Lin
PhD Student
Tel. +(31)(0)317-484682
Email: Ya-fen Lin


  • Prof. Dr. Maarten Koornneef
  • Dr. Mark Aarts

Master students interested in this project are welcome to contact with me.