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Clara Bourbousse

Contact details
Institut de Biologie de l’Ecole Normale Supérieure (IBENS)
46 rue d’Ulm, 75005 Paris, France
Phone : (33 (0) 144 32 35 23
Fax : (33) (0) 144 32 39 35

Research interests
The importance of nuclear organization dynamics in cell specialization and transcriptional reprogramming is increasingly appreciated in eukaryotic species. In plants and mammals, one such prominent redeployment of chromatin spatial organization observed during cell differentiation is the establishment of repressive heterochromatin, a process that has long been proposed to serve as an instructive force stabilizing new transcriptional programs. My research focuses on the identification of the molecular drivers and signaling pathways controlling such chromatin regulatory mechanisms, as well as their functional relevance, during plant adaptation to developmental and environmental stimuli.

The first perception of light upon germination triggers photomorphogenesis (de-etiolation), which is a critical step in a plant’s life that impacts both agricultural yield and ecological success in natural contexts. Our team formerly established that light sensing by nuclear photoreceptors regulates heterochromatin establishment during Arabidopsis cotyledon (embryonic leaves) development. This developmental switch is further accompanied by a general increase of transcriptional activity. These two massive changes are likely linked to the switch from a “quiescent” to an “active” metabolic state, as rapid and large-scale reprogramming of gene expression during the photomorphogenic transition is required for the biogenesis of photosynthetic chloroplasts and the acquisition of photo-autotrophy. Yet, the relationships between chromatin architecture, transcriptional regimes and chloroplast metabolism are currently unknown.

Relying on large-scale and synchronized chromatin dynamics and chloroplast biogenesis in a relatively homogeneous population of cells, cotyledon photomorphogenesis constitutes an ideal system for investigating the coupling between cell metabolic status, genome conformation and global regulation of mRNA synthesis. In this context, I recently unveiled a new role for plastid organelles in modulating Arabidopsis chromatin architecture, which has sparked my interest in exploring the contribution of organelle activities to shaping nuclear organization. My young researcher ANR funding (2021-2024) aims to unravel the impact of plastid activities on the landscape and spatial organization of chromatin, and how these dynamics contributes to adapt the cellular transcriptional programs to its metabolic status.

• 2016 – 2021 Post-doctoral Fellow, Dr. Chris Bowler’s lab, IBENS-CNRS, Paris, France
• 2013-2016 Post-doctoral Fellow, Dr. Julie Law’s lab, SALK Institute, La Jolla, USA
• 2008-2012 PhD, co-supervisors : Dr. Chris Bowler and Dr. Fredy Barneche, IBENS-CNRS, Paris, France
• 2004-2008 Ecole Normale Supérieure, Cachan

Selected Publications

• Teano G., Concia L., Carron L., Wolff L., Adamusova K., Fojtova M., Bourge M., Kramdi A., Colot V., Grossniklaus U., Bowler C, Baroux C., Carbonne A., Probst A.V., Prochazkova Schrumpfova P., Fajkus J., Amiard S., Grob S., Bourbousse C., Barneche F. (2020) Histone H1 protects telomeric repeats from H3K27me3 invasion in Arabidopsis. BioRXiv

• *Cañibano, E., *Bourbousse, C., Garcia-Leon, M., Wolff, L., Garcia-Baudino, C., Barneche, F., Rubio, V., and Fonseca, S. (2021). DET1-mediated COP1 regulation avoids HY5 activity over second-site targets to tune plant photomorphogenesis. Mol. Plant

Bourbousse C., Barneche F., and Laloi C. (2020). Plant chromatin catches the sun. Front. Plant Sci..

• *Fiorucci AS, *Bourbousse C, Concia L, Rougée M, Deton-Cabanillas AF, Zabulon G, Layat E, Latrasse D, Kim SK, Chaumont N, Lombard B, Stroebel D, Lemoine S, Mohammad A, Blugeon C, Loew D, Bailly C, Bowler C, Benhamed M, Barneche F. (2019) Arabidopsis S2Lb links AtCOMPASS-like and SDG2 activity in H3K4me3 independently from histone H2B monoubiquitination. Genome Biology

• *Bourbousse C & *Barneche F. (2019) A dynamic signaling path to chromatin-level control of plant drought response. Molecular Plant.

Bourbousse C., Vegesna N. and Law J. A., (2018) SOG1 activator and MYB3R repressors regulate a complex DNA damage network in Arabidopsis. PNAS

• †Nassrallah A, †Rougee M, Bourbousse C, Drevensek S, Fonseca S, Iniesto E, Ait-Mohamed O, Deton-Cabanillas AF, Zabulon G, Ahmed I, Stroebel D, Masson V, Lombard B, Eeckhout D, Gevaert K, Loew D, Genovesio A, Breyton C, de Jaeger G, Bowler C, Rubio V and F Barneche*. (2018) DET1-mediated degradation of a SAGA-like deubiquitination module controls H2Bub homeostasis. eLife

Bourbousse C., Benhamed M. and F. *Barneche (2018). Profiling developmentally and environmentally controlled chromatin reprogramming. (Review) Methods in Molecular Biology

• Snoek BL, Pavlova P, Tessadori F, Peeters AJM, Bourbousse C, Barneche F, de Jong JH, Fransz PF, van Zanten M. (2017) Genetic Dissection of Morphometric Traits Reveals that Phytochrome B Affects Nucleus Size and Heterochromatin Organization in Arabidopsis thaliana. G3

Bourbousse C, Mestiri I, Zabulon G, Bourge M, Formiggini F, Koini MA, Brown SC, Fransz P, Bowler C, *Barneche F. (2015) Light signaling controls nuclear architecture reorganization during seedling establishment. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A.

Bourbousse C., Ahmed I., Roudier F., Zabulon G., Blondet E., Balzergue S., Colot V., Bowler C. and F. Barneche*. (2012) Histone H2B monoubiquitination facilitates the rapid modulation of gene expression during Arabidopsis photomorphogenesis. PLoS Genetics.