Our group is concerned with the relationship between chromatin structure and the regulation of gene expression during development. The development of an organism is a consequence of coordinated regulation of gene expression. Higher eukaryotic genomes are assembled into chromatin. Chromatin is composed of histones, which form structures known as nucleosomes that interact with DNA, generating the first level of DNA compaction inside the cell nucleus. At the present time it is generally accepted that chromatin structure represents one of the first levels of regulation of gene expression during development. Proper timing and spatial expression of a gene or group of genes requires a coordinated remodeling of chromatin structure to allow the transcriptional machinery to access target sequences in the DNA. Our laboratory is interested in understanding the effects of chromatin structure on gene regulation at distinct levels, ranging from regulatory elements to chromatin domain formation and maintenance. We are using the chicken alpha- and beta-globin domains as experimental systems. To address different questions, the laboratory projects combine molecular and cellular techniques.