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Pervasive Upstream Non-Coding Transcription Underpinning Adaptation

Total Cost €


EC-Contrib. €






 PUNCTUATION project word cloud

Explore the words cloud of the PUNCTUATION project. It provides you a very rough idea of what is the project "PUNCTUATION" about.

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Project "PUNCTUATION" data sheet

The following table provides information about the project.


Organization address
address: NORREGADE 10
postcode: 1165

contact info
title: n.a.
name: n.a.
surname: n.a.
function: n.a.
email: n.a.
telephone: n.a.
fax: n.a.

 Coordinator Country Denmark [DK]
 Total cost 1˙499˙952 €
 EC max contribution 1˙499˙952 € (100%)
 Programme 1. H2020-EU.1.1. (EXCELLENT SCIENCE - European Research Council (ERC))
 Code Call ERC-2017-STG
 Funding Scheme ERC-STG
 Starting year 2018
 Duration (year-month-day) from 2018-02-01   to  2023-01-31


Take a look of project's partnership.

# participants  country  role  EC contrib. [€] 
1    KOBENHAVNS UNIVERSITET DK (KOBENHAVN) coordinator 1˙499˙952.00


 Project objective

Genomic DNA represents the blueprint of life: it instructs solutions to challenges during life cycles of organisms. Curiously DNA in higher organisms is mostly non-protein coding (e.g. 97% in human). The popular “junk-DNA” hypothesis postulates that this non-coding DNA is non-functional. However, high-throughput transcriptomics indicates that this may be an over-simplification as most non-coding DNA is transcribed. This pervasive transcription yields two molecular events that may be functional: 1.) resulting long non-coding RNA (lncRNA) molecules, and 2.) the act of pervasive transcription itself. Whereas lncRNA sequences and functions differ on a case-by-case basis, RNA polymerase II (Pol II) transcribes most lncRNA. Pol II activity leaves molecular marks that specify transcription stages. The profiles of stage-specific activities instruct separation and fidelity of transcription units (genomic punctuation). Pervasive transcription affects genomic punctuation: upstream lncRNA transcription over gene promoters can repress downstream gene expression, also referred to as tandem Transcriptional Interference (tTI). Even though tTI was first reported decades ago a systematic characterization of tTI is lacking. Guided by my expertise in lncRNA transcription I recently identified the genetic material to dissect tTI in plants as an independent group leader. My planned research promises to reveal the genetic architecture and the molecular hallmarks defining tTI in higher organisms. Environmental lncRNA transcription variability may trigger tTI to promote organismal responses to changing conditions. We will address the roles of tTI in plant cold response to test this hypothesis. I anticipate our findings to inform on the fraction of pervasive transcription engaging in tTI. My proposal promises to advance our understanding of genomes by reconciling how the transcription of variable non-coding DNA sequences can elicit equivalent functions.


year authors and title journal last update
List of publications.
2019 Mathias Nielsen, Ryan Ard, Xueyuan Leng, Maxim Ivanov, Peter Kindgren, Vicent Pelechano, Sebastian Marquardt
Transcription-driven chromatin repression of Intragenic transcription start sites
published pages: e1007969, ISSN: 1553-7404, DOI: 10.1371/journal.pgen.1007969
PLOS Genetics 15/2 2019-08-29
2018 Peter Kindgren, Ryan Ard, Maxim Ivanov, Sebastian Marquardt
Transcriptional read-through of the long non-coding RNA SVALKA governs plant cold acclimation
published pages: , ISSN: 2041-1723, DOI: 10.1038/s41467-018-07010-6
Nature Communications 9/1 2019-08-29

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