Dr Marco Catoni PhD

Dr Marco Catoni

School of Biosciences
Lecturer in Plant Biology

Contact details

School of Biosciences
University of Birmingham
B15 2TT

Dr Catoni integrates computational biology with a range of experimental molecular biology approaches to study the epigenetic mechanisms controlling genome plasticity in plants.

The group investigates the relations between epigenetic and evolution, and develops epigenetic-based approaches to improve plant production, to support a more sustainable agriculture.

View Marco Catoni's Lab Website


  • PhD, University of Turin, 2010 in Plant Pathology
  • Laurea Magistrale (equivalent to MSc), University of Turin 2006 in Plant Biotechnology
  • Laurea (equivalent to BSc), University of Turin (Italy) 2003 in Biotechnology


Recent publications


Catoni, M & Zabet, NR 2021, 'Analysis of plant DNA methylation profiles using R', Methods in molecular biology, vol. 2250, pp. 219-238. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-0716-1134-0_21

Cerruti, E, Gisbert, C, Drost, H-G, Valentino, D, Portis, E, Barchi, L, Prohens, J, Lanteri, S, Comino, C & Catoni, M 2021, 'Grafting vigour is associated with DNA de-methylation in eggplant', Horticulture Research. <http://www.nature.com/hortres/>

Fiorilli, V, Catoni, M, Lanfranco, L & Zabet, NR 2020, 'Editorial: interactions of plants with bacteria and fungi: molecular and epigenetic plasticity of the host', Frontiers in Plant Science, vol. 11, 274. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpls.2020.00274

Benoit, M, Drost, H-G, Catoni, M, Gouil, Q, Lopez-Gomollon, S, Baulcombe, D & Paszkowski, J 2019, 'Environmental and epigenetic regulation of Rider retrotransposons in tomato', PLoS Genetics, vol. 15, no. 9, e1008370, pp. 1-28. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pgen.1008370

Catoni, M, Jonesman, T, Cerruti, E & Paszkowski, J 2019, 'Mobilization of Pack-CACTA transposons in Arabidopsis suggests the mechanism of gene shuffling', Nucleic Acids Research, vol. 47, no. 3, pp. 1311–1320. https://doi.org/10.1093/nar/gky1196

Catoni, M, Tsang, JM, Greco, AP & Zabet, NR 2018, 'DMRcaller: a versatile R/Bioconductor package for detection and visualization of differentially methylated regions in CpG and non-CpG contexts', Nucleic Acids Research. https://doi.org/10.1093/nar/gky602

Catoni, M, Noris, E, Vaira, AM, Jonesman, T, Matić, S, Soleimani, R, Behjatnia, SAA, Vinals, N, Paszkowski, J & Accotto, GP 2018, 'Virus-mediated export of chromosomal DNA in plants', Nature Communications, vol. 9, 5308. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-018-07775-w

Zabet, NR, Catoni, M, Prischi, F & Paszkowski, J 2017, 'Cytosine methylation at CpCpG sites triggers accumulation of non-CpG methylation in gene bodies', Nucleic Acids Research, vol. 45, no. 7, pp. 3777-3784. https://doi.org/10.1093/nar/gkw1330

Catoni, M, Griffiths, J, Becker, C, Zabet, NR, Bayon, C, Dapp , M, Lieberman-Lazarovich, M, Weigel, D & Paszkowski, J 2017, 'DNA sequence properties that predict susceptibility to epiallelic switching', The EMBO journal, vol. 36, no. 5, pp. 617-628. https://doi.org/10.15252/embj.201695602

Torchetti, EM, Pegoraro, M, Navarro, B, Catoni, M, Di Serio, F & Noris, E 2016, 'A nuclear-replicating viroid antagonizes infectivity and accumulation of a geminivirus by upregulating methylation-related genes and inducing hypermethylation of viral DNA', Scientific Reports, vol. 6, 35101. https://doi.org/10.1038/srep35101


Noris, E & Catoni, M 2020, Role of methylation during geminivirus infection. in Applied Plant Biotechnology for Improving Resistance to Biotic Stress. Elsevier Doyma, pp. 291-305. https://doi.org/10.1016/B978-0-12-816030-5.00013-6

Catoni, M & Cortijo, S 2018, EpiRILs. in Advances in Botanical Research: Plant Epigenetics Coming of Age for Breeding Applications. Plant Epigenetics Coming of Age for Breeding Applications, vol. 88, pp. 87-116. https://doi.org/10.1016/bs.abr.2018.08.002


Cho, J, Benoit, M, Catoni, M, Drost, H-G, Brestovitsky, A, Oosterbeek, M & Paszkowski, J 2019, 'Sensitive detection of pre-integration intermediates of long terminal repeat retrotransposons in crop plants', Nature Plants, vol. 5, pp. 26-33. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41477-018-0320-9

Griffiths, J, Catoni, M, Iwasaki, M & Paszkowski, J 2018, 'Sequence-Independent Identification of Active LTR Retrotransposons in Arabidopsis', Molecular Plant, vol. 11, no. 3, pp. 508-511. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.molp.2017.10.012

Review article

Miozzi, L, Vaira, AM, Catoni, M, Fiorilli, V, Accotto, GP & Lanfranco, L 2019, 'Arbuscular Mycorrhizal Symbiosis: Plant Friend or Foe in the Fight Against Viruses?', Frontiers in Microbiology, vol. 10, 1238. https://doi.org/10.3389/fmicb.2019.01238

View all publications in research portal