Date of Award

January 2016

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Advisor

Joe Ogas

Committee Member 1

Stanton Gelvin

Committee Member 2

Ann Kirchmaier

Committee Member 3

Scott Briggs


Chromatin remodeling is a vital biological process that facilitates activation and repression of gene expression as well as compaction of large eukaryotic genomes into compact nuclei. The CHD3 family of chromatin remodelers play key roles as epigenetic modifiers and transcriptional regulators in both plants and animals. PKL is a CHD3 remodeler that represses expression of seed genes during germination in Arabidopsis. Unlike animal CHD3 remodelers, PKL does not function as a member of a multi-subunit Mi-2 NuRD complex. Instead, PKL acts as a monomer in vivo and promotes the epigenetic modification H3K27me3, which is associated with transcriptional repression of tissue-specific genes by the PRC2. Thus, PKL plays an important role in promoting tissue identity by facilitating deposition and/or maintenance of H3K27me3.