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  • Viroids and Arabidopsis thaliana, convenient relations

    arabidopsis-thaliana-convenient-relationsViroids are the bottom rung of the biological scale, being exclusively composed of a small circular RNA of 250-400 nucleotides lacking any coding capacity, a key aspect that differentiates them from the viruses that encode proteins themselves. Virus and viroids also have an independent evolutionary origin, has been suggested that the latter are ancient molecules that come from precelulares early development of life on our planet.

    Despite its small size, viroids are able to replicate autonomously in certain plants, taking advantage of molecular and cellular components to replicate and move from the initial focus of infection to remote parts (which indirectly leads, in some cases, a pathogenic effect.) Among the guests of viroids is not Arabidopsis thaliana, the plant model par excellence, whose complete genome was sequenced several years ago, which greatly facilitates the work with this system. In particular, research to understand how viruses multiply and cause disease in plants have benefited from the fact that some of them are infected Arabidopsis.

    Results obtained in the Institute of Molecular and Cellular Biology of Plants of Valencia (UPV-CSIC) through the construction of transgenic Arabidopsis lines expressing viroidales sequences indicate that this plant contains the enzymes necessary for replication of most viroids, although the low efficiency of some stage of the process (or deficiencies in the movement of these RNA within the plant) would be the factors that limit their infectivity. However, no case with other stages of the replication cycle that, as mentioned above, can be studied in Arabidopsis more easily than typical guests.

    Published on August 29, 2012 · Filed under: Bioscience, News; Tagged as: , , , ,
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