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Durham University

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Staff Profile

Dr Miguel de-Lucas, PhD in Molecular Biology

Research Fellow in the Department of Biosciences
Telephone: +44 (0) 191 33 41237

Contact Dr Miguel de-Lucas (email at

Unraveling chromatin dynamics during development

During my scientific career I have come to realize that the mutual regulation between DNA-binding transcription factors and chromatin organization is key to providing an optimal expression level under different circumstances.

I did my PhD in the National Center of Biotechnology (CNB-CSIC) in Madrid under Prof. Salomé Prat’s supervision. My dissertation work identified the molecular mechanisms required for intrinsic signals to modulate plant adaptation to the environment (de Lucas Miguel et al. 2008; Bernardo García et al. 2014). At the end of my thesis it was obvious that transcription was tightly controlled at multiple levels, including chromatin organization. To address this question, I obtained both EMBO and HFSP fellowships to perform the investigation at Dr. Siobhan Brady’s lab, UC Davis (USA). My postdoctoral work aimed to integrate these different mechanisms of regulation by studying first the role of gene regulatory networks (GRN) in shaping development (Taylor-Teeples et al. 2015) and subsequently, how chromatin remodelling, within the context of a GRN affects cell type-specific patterns of gene expression to regulate developmental decisions, such as cell proliferation and differentiation(de Lucas et. al. under review). While the analyses identified signalling and transcriptional changes, the fundamental question of how chromatin-remodelling enzymes act co-ordinately to regulate cellular decisions remains unclear.

With the use of next generation sequencing, bioinformatics and advanced cell biology approaches, the lab aims to address how chromatin is dynamicaly regulated by environmental and intrinsic signals to control cellular decisions and development.

Research Groups

Department of Biosciences

  • Durham Centre for Crop Improvement Technology
  • Molecular Plant Sciences

Research Interests

  • Plant Development
  • Chromatin remodeling
  • Cell Differentiation
  • Light Signaling

Selected Publications

Chapter in book

  • de Lucas, Miguel, Provart, Nicholas J. & Brady, Siobhan M. (2013). Bioinformatic Tools in Arabidopsis Research. In Arabidopsis Protocols. Springer Science. 1062: 97.

Journal Article

  • Agustí, M. Mesejo, C. Muñoz-Fambuena, N., Vera-Sirera, F. De Lucas, M., Martínez-Fuentes, A. Reig, C., Iglesias, D.J. Primo-Millo, E. & Blázquez, M.A. (2019). Fruit-dependent epigenetic regulation of flowering in Citrus. New Phytologist 225(1): 376-384.
  • Martínez, Cristina, Espinosa‐Ruíz, Ana, de Lucas, Miguel, Bernardo‐García, Stella, Franco‐Zorrilla, José M & Prat, Salomé (2018). PIF4‐induced BR synthesis is critical to diurnal and thermomorphogenic growth. The EMBO Journal 37(23): e99552.
  • Toal, Ted W., Ron, Mily, Gibson, Donald, Kajala, Kaisa, Splitt, Bessie, Johnson, Logan S., Miller, Nathan D., Slovak, Radka, Gaudinier, Allison, Patel, Rohan, de Lucas, Miguel, Provart, Nicholas J., Spalding, Edgar P., Busch, Wolfgang, Kliebenstein, Daniel J. & Brady, Siobhan M. (2018). Regulation of Root Angle and Gravitropism. Genes|Genomes|Genetics g3.200540.2018.
  • Espinosa-Ruiz, Ana, Martinez, Cristina, de Lucas, Miguel, Fabregas, Norma, Bosch, Nadja, Cano-Delgado, Ana I. & Prat, Salome (2017). TOPLESS mediates brassinosteroid control of shoot boundaries and root meristem development in Arabidopsis thaliana. Development 144(9): 1619-1628.
  • de Lucas, Miguel, Pu, Li, Turco, Gina Marie, Gaudinier, Allie, Marao, Ana Karina, Hiroshima, Hirofumi, Kim, Dahae, Ron, Mily, Sugimoto, Keiko, Roudier, Francois M. & Brady, Siobhan M. (2016). Transcriptional Regulation of Arabidopsis Polycomb Repressive Complex 2 Coordinates Cell Type Proliferation and Differentiation. The Plant Cell 28(10): 2616-2631.
  • Taylor-Teeples, M., Lin, L., de Lucas, M., Turco, G., Toal, T.W., Gaudinier, A., Young, N.F., Trabucco, G.M., Veling, M.T., Lamothe, R., Handakumbura, P.P., Xiong, G., Wang, C., Corwin, J., Tsoukalas, A., Zhang, L., Ware, D., Pauly, M., Kliebenstein, D.J., Dehesh, K., Tagkopoulos, I., Breton, G., Pruneda-Paz, J.L., Ahnert, S.E., Kay, S.A., Hazen, S.P. & Brady, S.M. (2015). An Arabidopsis gene regulatory network for secondary cell wall synthesis. Nature 517(7536): 571-575.
  • Ikeuchi, Momoko, Iwase, Akira, Rymen, Bart, Harashima, Hirofumi, Shibata, Michitaro, Ohnuma, Mariko, Breuer, Christian, Morao, Ana Karina, de Lucas, Miguel, De Veylder, Lieven, Goodrich, Justin, Brady, Siobhan M., Roudier, François & Sugimoto, Keiko (2015). PRC2 represses dedifferentiation of mature somatic cells in Arabidopsis. Nature Plants 1(7): 15089.
  • Bernardo-Garcia, Stella, de Lucas, Miguel, Martinez, Cristina, Davière, Jean-Michel & Prat, Salomé (2014). BR-dependent phosphorylation modulates PIF4 transcriptional activity and shapes diurnal hypocotyl growth. Genes & Development 28(15): 1681-1694.
  • de Lucas, Miguel & Prat, Salomé (2014). PIFs get BRright: PHYTOCHROME INTERACTING FACTORs as integrators of light and hormonal signals. New Phytologist 202(4): 1126-1141.
  • Miguel De Lucas & Siobhan M Brady (2013). Gene regulatory networks in the Arabidopsis root. Current Opinion in Plant Biology 16(1): 50.
  • Mily Ron, Michael W. Dorrity, Miguel de Lucas, Ted Toal, R. Ivan Hernandez, Stefan A. Little, Julin N. Maloof, Daniel J. Kliebenstein, & Siobhan M. Brady (2013). Identification of Novel Loci Regulating Interspecific Variation in Root Morphology and Cellular Development in Tomato. Plant Physiology 162(2): 755-768.
  • Miguel de Lucas, Jean-Michel Davière, Mariana Rodríguez-Falcón, Mariela Pontin, Juan Manuel Iglesias-Pedraza, Séverin Lorrain, Christian Fankhauser, Miguel Angel Blázquez, Elena Titarenko & Salomé Prat (2008). A molecular framework for light and gibberellin control of cell elongation. Nature 451(7177): 480.
  • Jean-Michel Davière, Miguel de Lucas & Salomé Prat (2008). Transcriptional factor interaction: a central step in DELLA function. Current Opinion in Genetics & Development 18(4): 295.

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