The group is established to investigate the processes of genetic and epigenetic control of plant gene expression. The main interest is in regulatory processes resulting in plant adaptation under stress conditions. There are two main areas of investigation
Genetic control of plant gene expression: An approach to find out if the extremely high drought tolerance in some wild drought resistant species is related to some kind of specificity of gene organization, differential gene expression and protein structure of their enzyme forms and if there's genes can be used to enhance the drought tolerance in agricultural plants
Epigenetic control of plant gene expression: Studying the influence that environmental conditions can have on the epigenetic states of plant genes. Research on endogenous epigenetics systems in the group currently focuses on the bioinformatics search for de novo methylation targets in stress-induced genes available in genetic sequence databases. This will help to elucidate how epigenetic processes contribute to establishment of plant stress tolerance.Recent projects:Drought tolerance in Bulgarian endemic relict species Haberlea rhodopensis – NSF - Bulgaria
Key genes for biotic and abiotic stress tolerance investigations in GRC-UoP - NSF - Bulgaria
Pontier D., Yahubyan G., Vega V., Bulski A., Saez-Vasquez J., Hakimi M.A., Lerbs-Mache S., Colot V. and Lagrange T. (2005) Reinforcement of silencing at transposons and highly repeated sequences requires the concerted action of two distinct RNA polymerases IV in Arabidopsis. Genes & Development 19:2030-2040.
Denev I., Yahubyan G., Minkov I.N. and Sundqvist C. (2005) Organization of protochlorophyllide oxidoreductase in prolamellar bodies isolated from etiolated carotenoid-deficient wheat leaves as revealed by fluorescence probes. Biochimica et Biophysica Acta (BBA) - Biomembranes 1716, 2, 97-103.
Yahubyan G., Minkov I., Sundqvist C. (2001) Carotenoid dependence of the protochlorophyllide to chlorophyllide phototransformation in dark-grown wheat seedlings. J. Photochem. Photobiol. B: Biology 65: 171-176.
Perrota G., Yahoubyan G., Nebuloso E., Renzi L., Giuliano G. (2001) Tomato and barley contain duplicated copies of cryptochrome 1. Plant, Cell and Environment 24: 991–997.
Jahoubjan G., Minkov I. (1997) Enhanced chlorophyllide accumulation after flash irradiation of etiolated wheat plants treated with SAN-9789. J. Plant Physiol, 151, 649-653.