University of Cambridge > > Plant Sciences Research Seminars > Silencing RNAs are mobile and trigger DNA methylation in distant tissue

Silencing RNAs are mobile and trigger DNA methylation in distant tissue

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RNA silencing in plants has an effect at a distance – cells in which silencing is induced by small RNAs produce a signal that moves short distances through plasmodesmata and long distances through the phloem. The signal elicits nucleotide sequence-specific effects and so it is likely to have an RNA component as the specificity determinant. However, the mobile RNA has not been detected directly and its physical form is not known. Genetic evidence is ambiguous because there are multiple pathways of RNA silencing in plants with overlapping or interdependent functions. Using high throughput sequencing of small RNAs in analyses of grafted plants we demonstrated directly that 24 nt small RNAs are mobile. In addition we provide evidence that endogenous mobile small RNAs can cause changes in DNA methylation at a distance.

This talk is part of the Plant Sciences Research Seminars series.

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