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Center for RNA Biomedicine pres.

RNA Innovation Seminar, Keith Slotkin, Donald Danforth Plant Science Center, University of Missouri Columbia

"The RNA-based Initiation of Transposable Element Epigenetic Silencing"

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Keith Slotkin, Member and PI, Donald Danforth Plant Science Center,  Associate Professor, Division of Biological Sciences, University of Missouri Columbia

Abstract: The field of epigenetic silencing is replete with labs studying how transcriptional silencing is epigenetically maintained, or in some cases re-targeted, across cell divisions and generations. On the other hand, the initiation of that silencing in the first place, especially for DNA that is “new” to the genome, is not well understood. Although the propagation of epigenetic silencing is based on the chromatin level, our data in the powerful model plant Arabidopsis demonstrates that de novo initiation of transposable element and transgene silencing is based on RNA, and utilizes a host of small RNA classes that function specifically in the initiation of silencing to guide the first round of DNA methylation. I plan to present my ongoing work on the molecular mechanisms of silencing initiation, focusing on the key RNA-dependent processes necessary to initiate epigenetic silencing.
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