Hans-Wilhelm Nützmann



Accepting PhD Students

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Personal profile

Research interests

My research programme aims to understand how genes are ordered along chromosomes and how gene order affects gene regulation.

Advances in genomics and transcriptomics have unveiled that gene order in eukaryotes influences expression patterns, recombination and mutation rates and gene retention over evolutionary time. In addition, diverse examples of clusters for co-localised and co-regulated functionally related genes have been identified in eukaryotes. Such gene clusters are predominately associated with fundamental developmental processes, immunity and metabolism.

Eukaryotic gene clusters are characterised by the co-ordinated and tightly regulated expression of the encoded genes. The co-localisation of functionally-related genes enables the formation of different mechanisms of gene regulation in comparison to the control of dispersed genes. These mechanisms are at the heart of my research. I aim to characterise and understand the key mechanism in the regulation of gene clusters with the following central hypothesis: Eukaryotic gene clusters are delineated by a conserved code of epigenetic marks and reside in dynamic three-dimensional chromosomal domains. These chromatin features mediate the co-ordinate and highly restrictive pattern of cluster transcription, establish a basis for epigenetic cluster regulation and, therefore, shape the cellular response during different developmental stages and changing ecological conditions.

My research will provide fundamental new insights into eukaryotic gene regulation, contribute to a better understanding of the principles of gene-order dependent control of genes, ameliorate the design principles of synthetic multi-gene cassettes, and will thus, ultimately, underpin human interest in disease prevention, food security and synthetic biology.

Willing to supervise PhD

Accepting PhD students

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Projects 2017 2023

Research Output 2009 2019

7 Citations (Scopus)
1 Downloads (Pure)

A specialized metabolic network selectively modulates Arabidopsis root microbiota

Huang, A. C., Jiang, T., Liu, Y. X., Bai, Y. C., Reed, J., Qu, B., Goossens, A., Nützmann, H. W., Bai, Y. & Osbourn, A., 10 May 2019, In : Science. 364, 6440, eaau6389.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access

Light-Induced Artemisinin Biosynthesis Is Regulated by the bZIP Transcription Factor AaHY5 in Artemisia annua

Hao, X., Zhong, Y., Nützmann, H-W., Fu, X., Yan, T., Shen, Q., Ma, Y., Zhao, J., Osbourn, A., Li, L. & Tang, K., 1 Aug 2019, In : Plant & Cell Physiology. 60, 8, p. 1747-1760 14 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Embracing the next generation of plant scientists

Hetherington, F. M. & Nützmann, H. W., 1 Jan 2018, In : New Phytologist. 217, 2, p. 504-506 3 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

3 Citations (Scopus)

Metabolic gene clusters in eukaryotes

Nützmann, H. W., Scazzocchio, C. & Osbourn, A., 23 Nov 2018, In : Annual Review of Genetics. 52, p. 159-183 25 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

20 Citations (Scopus)

Delineation of metabolic gene clusters in plant genomes by chromatin signatures

Yu, N., Nuetzmann, H-W., MacDonald, J. T., Moore, B., Field, B., Berriri, S., Trick, M., Rosser, S. J., Kumar, S. V., Freemont, P. S. & Osbourn, A., 18 Mar 2016, In : Nucleic Acids Research. 44, 5, p. 2255-65 11 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access
Plant Genome
Multigene Family
Biological Products