Plants, like other eukaryotes, have evolved complex mechanisms to coordinate gene expression during development, environmental response, and cellular homeostasis. Transcription factors (TFs), accompanied by basic cofactors and posttranscriptional regulators, are key players in gene-regulatory networks (GRNs). The coordinated control of gene activity is achieved by the interplay of these factors and by physical interactions between TFs and DNA. Here, we will briefly outline recent technological progress made to elucidate GRNs in plants. We will focus on techniques that allow us to characterize physical interactions in GRNs in plants and to analyze their regulatory consequences. Targeted manipulation allows us to test the relevance of specific gene-regulatory interactions. The combination of genome-wide experimental approaches with mathematical modeling allows us to get deeper insights into key-regulatory interactions and combinatorial control of important processes in plants.
School of Life Sciences, Nanjing University
Nanjing 210023, China