It has long been established that in addition to being involved in protein translation, RNA plays essential roles in numerous other cellular processes, including gene regulation and DNA replication. Such roles are known to be dictated by higher-order structures of RNA molecules. It is therefore of prime importance to find an RNA sequence that can fold to acquire a particular function that is desirable for use in pharmaceuticals and basic research. The challenge of finding an RNA sequence for a given structure is known as the RNA design problem. Although there are several algorithms to solve this problem, they mainly consider hard constraints, such as minimum free energy, to evaluate the predicted sequences. Recently, SHAPE data has emerged as a new soft constraint for RNA secondary structure prediction. To take advantage of this new experimental constraint, we report here a new method for accurate design of RNA sequences based on their secondary structures using SHAPE data as pseudo-free energy. We then compare our algorithm with four others: INFO-RNA, ERD, MODENA and RNAifold 2.0. Our algorithm precisely predicts 26 out of 29 new sequences for the structures extracted from the Rfam dataset, while the other four algorithms predict no more than 22 out of 29. The proposed algorithm is comparable to the above algorithms on RNA-SSD datasets, where they can predict up to 33 appropriate sequences for RNA secondary structures out of 34.
Numerous noncoding RNA transcripts are detected in eukaryotic cells. Noncoding RNAs transcribed across gene promoters are involved in the regulation of mRNA transcription via chromatin modulation. This function of noncoding RNA transcription was first demonstrated for the fission yeast fbp1 gene, where a cascade of noncoding RNA transcription events induces chromatin remodeling to facilitate transcription factor binding. We recently demonstrated that the noncoding RNAs from the fbp1 upstream region facilitate binding of the transcription activator Atf1 and thereby promote histone acetylation. Histone acetylation by histone acetyl transferases (HATs) and ATP-dependent chromatin remodelers (ADCRs) are implicated in chromatin remodeling, but the interplay between HATs and ADCRs in this process has not been fully elucidated. Here, we examine the roles played by two distinct ADCRs, Snf22 and Hrp3, and by the HAT Gcn5 in the transcriptional activation of fbp1. Snf22 and Hrp3 redundantly promote disassembly of chromatin in the fbp1 upstream region. Gcn5 critically contributes to nucleosome eviction in the absence of either Snf22 or Hrp3, presumably by recruiting Hrp3 in snf22∆ cells and Snf22 in hrp3∆ cells. Conversely, Gcn5-dependent histone H3 acetylation is impaired in snf22∆/hrp3∆ cells, suggesting that both redundant ADCRs induce recruitment of Gcn5 to the chromatin array in the fbp1 upstream region. These results reveal a previously unappreciated interplay between ADCRs and histone acetylation in which histone acetylation facilitates recruitment of ADCRs, while ADCRs are required for histone acetylation.
The development of transgenesis systems in non-model organisms provides a powerful tool for molecular analysis and contributes to the understanding of phenomena that are not observed in model organisms. Drosophila prolongata is a fruit fly that has unique morphology and behavior not found in other Drosophila species including D. melanogaster. In this study, we developed a phiC31 integrase-mediated transgenesis system for D. prolongata. First, using piggyBac-mediated transgenesis, 37 homozygous attP strains were established. These strains were further transformed with the nosP-Cas9 vector, which was originally designed for phiC31-mediated transgenesis in D. melanogaster. The transformation rate varied from 0% to 3.4%. Nine strains with a high transformation rate of above 2.0% were established, which will serve as host strains in future transformation experiments in D. prolongata. Our results demonstrate that genetic tools developed for D. melanogaster are applicable to D. prolongata with minimal modifications.
Leaf forms are diverse in angiosperms, and different types of cells are differentiated depending on the species. Rice leaves are composed of a leaf blade, a leaf sheath and the junction region between them. Cells with characteristic features, such as bulliform cells and sclerenchyma cells, are differentiated in the leaf blade, together with standard epidermal and mesophyll cells. To understand the genetic mechanism underlying leaf morphogenesis in rice, we focused on a mutant, half-pipe-like leaf1 (hal1), whose leaves are adaxially curled. Histological observation revealed that the bulliform cells, which are responsible for leaf rolling under dry conditions, were small in size and abnormal in shape in a semidominant hal1-d mutant. Bulliform cell files were often ambiguous in semi-transparent hal1-d leaves cleared by the TOMEI method, suggesting that the bulliform cells were undeveloped. Therefore, a reduction in the growth of the bulliform cells seemed to be a major cause of leaf curling in the hal1-d mutant. The hal1-d mutation also affected the size of the leaf blade and the spikelet.
Polymorphic microsatellite markers were developed in Plantago virginica, an invasive species in China with both cleistogamous and chasmogamous flowers, to investigate its genetic structure and mating patterns. Fourteen novel microsatellite primer sets were designed, and the marker loci they amplified were characterized in 96 individuals from four populations. Eleven of these markers showed polymorphism and the number of alleles per locus ranged from two to six. AMOVA and STRUCTURE indicated that there were distinct patterns of genetic differentiation among the one invasive and three native US populations. These markers provide a useful tool for investigating genetic diversity in P. virginica and studying the mechanisms of invasion success.