Cristian Peña-Ponton

Cristian Peña-Ponton MSc

PhD Student

Bezoekadres

Droevendaalsesteeg 10
6708 PB Wageningen

+31 (0) 317 47 34 00

The Netherlands

Netwerk

Over

I am a PhD student working on the identification of DNA methylation and gene expression patterns induced by abiotic and biotic factors in the Lombardy poplar. I am specially focused in the study of drought and rust infection effects and their interaction.

Biografie

I am from Ecuador, after finishing my Bachelor in Plant Biotechnology at Universidad de las Fuerzas Armadas UFA-ESPE (Ecuador), I worked part-time as plant tissue culture instructor at UFA-ESPE and part-time as teak micropropagation manager at Neoforests S.A.
Then, I discovered my passion for bioinformatics and moved to Australia where I obtained my Master's degree in Bioinformatics at the University of Melbourne. Next, I returned to Ecuador and became a lecturer of bioinformatics and plant tissue culture at UFA-ESPE.
In 2018, I started my PhD at the NIOO-KNAW in the Terrestrial Ecology Department and at the University of Wageningen in the Nematology Department. My doctoral project is part of the European Training Network EPIDIVERSE funded by the EU Horizon 2020 program under Marie Skłodowska-Curie actions.
During my PhD, I have had the opportunity to perform two secondments in Germany: Leipzig University and Philipps-Universität Marburg, where I have received training in bioinformatics, whole genome bisulfite sequencing and data integration.

Onderzoeksgroepen

CV

Employment

  • 2018–Present
    PhD candidate
  • 2010–2018
    Lecturer (UFA-ESPE, Ecuador)
  • 2012–2013
    Lecturer (UDLA, Ecuador)
  • 2010–2012
    Teak micropropagation manager at Neoforests S.A.

Education

  • 2004–2010
    BSc Biotechnology (UFA-ESPE, Ecuador)
  • 2014–2016
    MSc Bioinformatics (University of Melbourne, Australia)
  • 2014
    Cambridge International Diploma for Teachers and Trainers (University of Cambridge, UK)
  • 2018–Present
    PhD candidate at NIOO-KNAW/WUR

Projecten & samenwerkingen

Projecten

EpiDiverse: Epigenetic contribution to phenotypic plasticity in Populus nigra

2018–2022

In long-lived sessile organisms such as trees, phenotypic plasticity is an important requirement for successful persistence in changing or variable environments. Epigenetic mechanisms have the potential to mediate long-term plastic responses to environmental change. However, the importance of epigenetic mechanisms such as DNA methylation as regulators of adaptive plasticity is not well known. In this project we will experimentally evaluate effects of stress exposure on DNA methylation, transposable element activity and gene expression in black poplar (Populus nigra), with the aim to (1) identify genomic loci that show stress-induced epigenetic modification with functional consequences, and (2) evaluate the temporal stability of such loci, for example across growing seasons. Making use of clonally propagated trees that have grown in contrasting environments, we will also investigate to what extent environment-induced epigenetic differences are transmitted to offspring via clonal propagation (cuttings) versus via sexual reproduction through seeds, using WGBS and epiGBS analysis. Experiments will be carried out in close interaction with other Populus nigra projects within the EpiDiverse consortium (at Marburg University, Germany and at the Institute of Applied Genomics, Udine, Italy).

https://epidiverse.eu/en/rp13-epigenetic-contribution-phenotypic-plasticity-populus-nigra

Samenwerkingen

  • Herbivory effects on the DNA methylome of the Lombardy poplar

    2018–Present

    We collaborate with PhD student Anupoma Niloya Troyee, Dr. Conchita Alonso and Dr. Mónica Medrano from EBD-CSIC (Sevilla, Spain) to unravel the effects of natural and artificial herbivory on the DNA methylation variation. Our plant system is the Lombardy poplar and we mainly use epiGBS and WGBS technologies.

     

  • Natural and stress-induced methylation variation in the Lombardy poplar

    2018–Present

    We collaborate with PhD student Bárbara Díez Rodríguez, Dr. Lars Opgenoorth and Dr. Katrin Heer from Philipps-Universität Marburg (Marburg, Germany) to identify and integrate DNA methylation patterns induced by natural and artificial environments. Our study system involves hundreds of clonal  Lombardy poplars collected from multiple European regions, and we mainly analyze WGBS, phenotypic and climate data.

Outreach

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