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Gene silencing in plant development and disease resistance: lessons from tomato

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Gene silencing downregulates gene expression, which can occur during either transcription (TGS) or post transcription (PTGS). TGS , mainly through epigenetic modifications of target genes, plays an important role in genome stability. However, PTGS , mainly through target mRNA cleavage or translation inhibition, is important for gene regulation and antiviral defence. We have recently used CRISPR /Cas9 to create tomato mutants of genes involved in TGS and maintenance of Histone3 lyscine9 di-methylation (H3K9me2). Phenotyping and molecular analysis of these mutants reveal that H3K9me2 plays a crucial role in tomato development and reproduction. In addition, we identified a feedback regulatory loop of Dicer-like (DCL) 2 and miR6026, which deepens our understanding of how antiviral PTGS responds to virus infection in tomato.

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

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