Sibum Sung

Associate Professor
Molecular Biosciences

Phone: 512-232-0867

Office Location
NMS 5.110

Postal Address
100 E. 24th Street Stop A5000
Austin, TX 78712

Research Summary:

Our research interests focus on the genetic, molecular and biochemical understandings of plant development through plant-environment interactions. We are particularly interested in the epigenetic regulation of the floral transition by environmental cues, such as temperature and photoperiod. The prolonged cold of winter, known as vernalization, is one such cue that certain plants use to acquire competence to flower the following spring. In Arabidopsis, vernalization results in the mitotically stable repression of the potent floral repressor, FLOWERING LOCUS C (FLC). The molecular nature of this environmentally-induced epigenetic change has been a fascinating question in plant biology. We have shown that the series of Histone modifications are involved in the epigenetic repression of FLC by vernalization. Furthermore, the diversity of Histone modifications that are related with vernalization-mediated epigenetic changes suggests that FLC chromatin could be used for the model system to study Histone biology in plants. We would like to use this environmentally-induced epigenetic switch as a model system to study chromatin remodeling in eukaryotes.


2013 Kim D.-H. and S. Sung, Coordination of the vernalization response through a VIN3 and FLC gene family regulatory network in Arabidopsis, Plant Cell Feb 15: Epub ahead of print view

2013 Hyun, Y., H. Yun, K. Park, H. Ohr, O. Lee, D. H. Kim, S. Sung and Y. Choi, The catalytic subunit of Arabidopsis DNA polymerase α ensures stable maintenance of histone modification., Development 140: 156-66 view

2012 Sung S, E. Huq and Z. J. Chen, International plant molecular biology: a bright future for green science., Genome Biol. 13: 323 view

2012 Zografos B. R. and S. Sung, Vernalization-mediated chromatin changes., J Exp Bot. 63: 4343-8 view

2012 Heo J. B., S. Sung, S. Assmann, Ca2+-dependent GTPase, extra-large G protein 2 (XLG2), promotes activation of DNA-binding protein related to vernalization 1 (RTV1), leading to activation of floral integrator genes and early flowering in Arabidopsis., J Biol Chem. 287: 8242-53 view

2012 Kim D. H. and S. Sung, Environmentally coordinated epigenetic silencing of FLC by protein and long noncoding RNA components., Curr Opin Plant Biol. 15: 51-6 view

2012 Kim E. D. and S. Sung, Long noncoding RNA: unveiling hidden layer of gene regulatory networks., Trends Plant Sci. 17: 16-21 view

2011 Heo J. B. and S. Sung, Encoding memory of winter by noncoding RNAs., Epigenetics 6: 544-7 view

2011 Heo J. B. and S. Sung, Vernalization-mediated epigenetic silencing by a long intronic noncoding RNA, Science 331: 76-9 view

2010 Kim D. H. and S. Sung, Role of VIN3-LIKE 2 in facultative photoperiodic flowering response in Arabidopsis., Plant Signal Behav. 5: 12 view

2010 Kim D. H., B.R. Zografos, and S. Sung, Mechanisms underlying vernalization-mediated VIN3 induction in Arabidopsis., Plant Signal Behav. 5: 11 view

2010 Kim D. H. and S. Sung, The Plant Homeo Domain finger protein, VIN3-LIKE 2, is necessary for photoperiod-mediated epigenetic regulation of the floral repressor, MAF5, Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U S A 107: 17029-34 view

2010 Kim D. H., B.R. Zografos, and S. Sung, Vernalization-mediated VIN3 induction overcomes the LIKE-HETEROCHROMATIN PROTEIN 1/Polycomb Repression Complex 2 -mediated epigenetic repression., Plant Physiol. 154: 949-957 view

2010 Horvath D. P., S. Sung, D.-H. Kim, W. Chao, and J. V. Anderson, Characterization, expression and function of DORMANCY ASSOCIATED MADS-BOX genes from leafy spurge, Plant Mol. Bio. 73: 169-179 view

2009 Kim, D.-H., M. Doyle, S. Sung, and R. M. Amasino, VERNALIZATION: WINTER AND THE TIMING OF FLOWERING IN PLANTS., Annual Rev. Cell Dev. Biol. 25: 277-299 view

2008 Schmitz, R.J., Sung, S., Amasino, R.M., Histone arginine methylation is required for vernalization-induced epigenetic silencing of FLC in winter-annual Arabidopsis thaliana, Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U S A 105: 411-416 view

2006 Sung S. , He, Y. ,Eshoo, T. W. , Tamada, Y. ,Johnson, L. ,Nakahigashi, K. , Goto, K. , Jacobsen, S. E. and Amasino, R. M. , Epigenetic maintenance of the vernalized state in Arabidopsis thaliana requires LIKE HETEROCHROMATIN PROTEIN 1, Nature Genetics 38: 706-710 view

2006 Sung S. , Schmitz, R. and Amasino, R. M., A PHD finger protein involved in both the vernalization and photoperiod pathways in Arabidopsis, Genes and Development 20: 3244-3248 view

2005 Sung, S. and Amasino, R. M., To remember winter: Towards a molecular understanding of vernalization, Annual Rev. Plant Biol. 56: 491-508 view

2004 Sung, S. and R. M. Amasino, Vernalization and epigenetics: how plants remember winter, Curr. Op. in Plant Biol. 7: 4-10 view
2004 Sung, S. and Amasino, R. M. , Vernalization in Arabidopsis thaliana is mediated by the PHD finger protein VIN3, Nature 427: 159-164 view