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Is RNA interference involved in plant-fungal symbiosis?

IS RNA INTERFERENCE INVOLVED IN PLANT-FUNGAL SYMBIOSIS? Joy M. Agee, Avinash Sreedasyam, Geetika Trivedi, and Gopi K. Podila, Department of Biological Sciences. University of Alabama in Huntsville. Huntsville, AL 35805.

RNA interference (RNAi) is a conserved group of regulatory mechanisms in which small regulatory RNA molecules serve as guides for protein complexes to suppress expression of targeted nucleic acids. Argonaute is one of the key proteins in RNAi and is the catalytic cleaving component of the RNA induced silencing complex [1]. Argonaute and other RNAi components have been found to have a role in fungal gene silencing, known as quelling, and is similar to RNAi in animals. The biogenesis of small regulatory RNAs involved in RNAi in fungi have yet to be identified. Using ectomycorrhizal symbiotic fungus Laccaria bicolor as a model, my goal is to identify the genes for biogenesis of small regulatory RNAs and determine their role in gene regulation. I have identified three Argonaute sequences in the L. bicolor genome sequence. I have cloned and sequenced full length cDNAs of all three hypothetical Argonaute genes from RNA isolated from the fungus during this early interaction phase. I have also confirmed their interaction-specific high expression which suggests a possible regulatory role for them in symbiosis. It is possible RNAi machinery are involved in the production of small regulatory RNAs involved in symbiosis formation. Determining such data will enable me to elucidate the critical biological role played by RNAi machinery in L. bicolor and other fungi; and also if RNAi is necessary for the formation of symbiotic relationships.
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Title Annotation:Biological Sciences Paper Abstracts
Publication:Journal of the Alabama Academy of Science
Article Type:Brief article
Geographic Code:1U6AL
Date:Apr 1, 2009
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