TUM – Technical University of Munich Menü

Prof. Dr. Frank Johannes


Plant Sciences

Academic Career and Research Areas

Frank Johannes (b. 1976) conducts research in the area of population epigenetics and epigenomics. His group combines bioinformatic and statistical genetic approaches with high-throughput molecular data to characterize patterns of epigenetic variation in populations of plants. The goal is to understand how this variation arises, how stable it is across generations and to which extent it determines agriculturally and evolutionarily relevant plant traits. The ultimate goal is to be able to exploit engineered or naturally occurring epimutations for the improvement of commercial crops.
Johannes obtained his PhD at Pennsylvania State University’s (USA) focusing on statistical genetics. He spent the last year of his PhD as a Marie Curie Fellow at the French Institute for Agricultural Research (INRA) where he was involved in one of the first population epigenetic studies in plants. He continued this work as a postdoc at the French National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS) and later at the University of Groningen in the Netherlands. He stayed in Groningen as an assistant professor before being appointed Rudolf Mößbauer Professor at TUM.

Key Publications (all publications)

van der Graaf A, Wardenaar R, Neumann DA, Taudt A, Shaw RG, Jansen RC, Schmitz RJ, Colomé-Tatché M, Johannes F: “Rate, spectrum and evolutionary dynamics of spontaneous epimutations”. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA. 2015; 112(21): 6676-81.


Cortijo S, Wardenaar R, Colomé-Tatché M, Gilly A, Etcheverry M, Labadie K, Caillieux E, Hospital F, Aury J-M, Wincker P, Roudier F, Jansen RC, Colot V, Johannes F: “Mapping the epigenetic basis of complex traits”. Science. 2014; 343(6175): 1145-8.


Colomé-Tatché M, Cortijo S, Wardenaar R, Morgado L, Lahouze B, Sarazin A, Etcheverry M, Martin A, Feng S, Duvernois-Berthet E, Labadie K, Wincker P, Jacobsen SE, Jansen RC, Colot V, Johannes F: “Features of the Arabidopsis recombination landscape resulting from the combined loss of sequence variation and DNA methylation”. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA. 2012; 109(40): 16240-5.


Johannes F and Colomé-Tatché M: “Quantitative epigenetics through epigenomic perturbation of isogenic lines”. Genetics. 2011; 188(1): 1015–1017.


Johannes F, Porcher E, Teixeira F, Saliba-Colombani V, Simon M, Agier N, Bulski A, Albuisson J, Heredia F, Bouchez D, Dillmann C, Guerche P, Hospital F, Colot V: “Assessing the impact of transgenerational epigenetic variation on complex traits”. PLoS Genetics. 2009; 5(6): e1000530.