Special Research Program

SFB Chromosome Dynamics

Unraveling the function of chromosomal domains

Chromosomes are not just simply receptacles for our body plan, they are highly dynamic structures, which change their properties dramatically according to the necessities of cell cycle and reproduction.

The SFB “Chromosome Dynamics”, started in 2008, aims to define chromosomal domains, such as the kinetochore, chromosome axis, loop domains and recombination hotspots on a molecular level. Various aspects of chromosome biology are studied by eight groups from MFPL, IMBA and IMP altogether. The kinetochore - microtubule attachment and the biochemistry of cohesins, both key aspects of segregation, are studied in meiosis and in mitosis in budding yeast as well as in mouse and human cells. Additional novel aspects of chromosome architecture are investigated in human cells.

In meiosis I, chromosome segregation is ensured by recombination, involving massive DNA damage and its repair. Both of these aspects are studied in yeast, plant and animal model systems. Recombination hotspots are studied in budding yeast and Arabidopsis thaliana. High-end technological platforms, such as mass spectroscopy, micro arrays and next generation sequencing are used as discovery tools. Meiotic chromosome missegregation is a leading cause of miscarriages and Down’s syndrome and most cancers are associated with aberrant chromosome numbers.

Knowledge of segregation mechanisms is thus required to understand the etiology of these problems.

Participating groups

Associated members

Past members



Franz Klein
franz.klein [AT] univie.ac [DOT] at
Tel. +43-1-4277-56220

Funded by the Austrian Science Fund FWF