Mariamawit Ashenafi
Department of Plant and Microbial Biology
University of Zürich
Zollikerstrasse 107
CH-8008 Zürich

+41 (0)44 63 48275
+41 (0)44 63 48204
Research Interests
List of Publications

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Research Interests

The nucleus is more than a genome-packaging organelle. It is ruled by key organizing principles that influence nuclear functions. Some of these functions are conserved between animals and plants suggesting ancestral principles, and some are less understood in plants. For instance, 3D spatial positioning of gene loci relative to the nuclear periphery and to chromosome territories contributes to transcriptional regulation in yeast and metazoans. However, this hasn?t been confirmed in plants. My research aims at describing the organization of the transcriptional compartment in Arabidopsis thaliana in a generic model (leaf) and a specific model, particularly in relation to imprinting (embryo). This study shall reveal evolutionary conservation/divergence of nuclear organizing principles across kingdoms.


Arabidopsis, gene expression, spatial positioning, imprinting, image analysis algorithms


2014 PhD student ( program) in Dr. C?lia Baroux's group
Institute of Plant Biology, University of Zurich, Switzerland
PhD Co-supervisors:
Prof. Ueli Grossniklaus (Institute of Plant Biology), Prof. Reinhard F?hrer (Institute of Mathematics), Dr Peter Majer (Bitplane AG)
2012 - 2013 MSc in Bioinformatics and Data analysis
University Montpellier II, France
Master thesis under the supervision of Dr Nicolas Condom: "Irrigation management software development for treated wastewater".
2010 - 2012 MSc in Tropical Plant Biotechnology
University Montpellier II, France
Master thesis:
Under the supervision of Dr Christian Cilas: "Coffee tree modeling for indirect high yield selection"
Under the supervision of Dr Michel Zivy: "Identification of proteins responsible ovule abortion draught condition"
2007 - 2010 Undergraduate Studies (Bachelor) in Agronomy and Food Science
University of Haute Alsace, France

List of Publications

Ashenafi M, Baroux C. (2018) Automated 3D gene position analysis using a customized Imaris plugin: XTFISHInsideNucleus. Methods Mol Biol. 1675:591-613.