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.


  • 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


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. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41477-018-0320-9

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

Catoni, M, Jonesman, T, Cerruti, E & Paszkowski, J 2018, 'Mobilization of Pack-CACTA transposons in Arabidopsis suggests the mechanism of gene shuffling' Nucleic Acids Research. 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

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, 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

Catoni, M, Lucioli, A, Doblas-Ibáñez, P, Accotto, GP & Vaira, AM 2013, 'From immunity to susceptibility: Virus resistance induced in tomato by a silenced transgene is lost as TGS overcomes PTGS' Plant Journal, vol. 75, no. 6, pp. 941-953. https://doi.org/10.1111/tpj.12253

Miozzi, L, Catoni, M, Fiorilli, V, Mullineaux, PM, Accotto, GP & Lanfranco, L 2011, 'Arbuscular mycorrhizal symbiosis limits foliar transcriptional responses to viral infection and favors long-term virus accumulation' Molecular Plant-Microbe Interactions, vol. 24, no. 12, pp. 1562-72. https://doi.org/10.1094/MPMI-05-11-0116

Fiorilli, V, Catoni, M, Francia, D, Cardinale, F & Lanfranco, L 2011, 'The arbuscular mycorrhizal symbiosis reduces disease severity in tomato plants infected by Botrytis cinerea' Journal of Plant Pathology, vol. 93, no. 1, pp. 237-242.

Catoni, M, Fiorilli, V, Miozzi, L, Lanfranco, L & Accotto, GP 2009, 'Comparative analysis of expression profiles in shoots and roots of tomato systemically infected by Tomato spotted wilt virus reveals organ-specific transcriptional responses' Molecular Plant-Microbe Interactions, vol. 22, no. 12, pp. 1504-13. https://doi.org/10.1094/MPMI-22-12-1504

Fiorilli, V, Catoni, M, Miozzi, L, Novero, M, Accotto, GP & Lanfranco, L 2009, 'Global and cell-type gene expression profiles in tomato plants colonized by an arbuscular mycorrhizal fungus' New Phytologist, vol. 184, no. 4, pp. 975-87. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1469-8137.2009.03031.x


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


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