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October 5th 2007

Research groups discover link between RNA silencing and control of flowering.

Transgenic plants with an RNA silencing phenotype were used to identify late flowering mutants that were defective for RNA silencingThe research groups of David Baulcombe and Caroline Dean (John Innes, Norwich) report in Science that there is a link between RNA silencing and the control of flowering. Their paper, with first author Isabel Bäurle, leads these two groups to propose that RNA binding proteins FCA and FPA are involved in mechanisms that interact with the siRNA-directed DNA methylation pathway. The consequence of the process involving FPA/FCA is modification of chromatin structure and gene silencing at specific loci. The target loci of this process affect flowering and these findings reinforce the importance of RNA-directed control at the chromatin level in regulation of growth and development.

http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/full/318/5847/109
Science 5 October 2007: Vol. 318. no. 5847, pp. 109-112 DOI: 10.1126/science.1146565

Illustration shows: "Transgenic plants with an RNA silencing phenotype were used to identify late flowering mutants that were defective for RNA silencing."

October 1st 2007

Plant science buys into high throughput sequencing technology in joint venture with Gurdon and CRUK institutes.

The Baulcombe group have initiated a joint venture with the Gurdon and CRUK Institutes to purchase an Illumina genome analyzer system. This powerful new technology will all us to determine the sequence of more than ten million fragments of DNA or RNA in one experiment. It is a highly versatile approach that can be used for diverse applications including monitoring the abundance of many thousands of RNA species simultaneously, high resolution mapping of mutations, identification of sites in genomic DNA that bind to defined proteins and sequencing of entire plant genomes in one experiment. We hope the system will be operational before the end of 2007.
http://www.illumina.com/pages.ilmn?ID=203