Intron splicing regulates gene silencing in Arabidopsis (2012–2014)
Regulation of gene expression (i.e. how genes are switched on and off) is a highly conserved and fundamental biological process in plants and animals. One important feature of genes in plants and animals is the presence of intragenic regions called introns that need to be spliced out before a gene can be expressed. Remarkably, intron splicing can enhance gene expression, whereas unspliced introns can suppress gene expression and cause severe genetic diseases.
The aim of this project is to define how introns regulate gene expression in the model plant Arabidopsis. Expected outcomes of the project include increased understanding of the regulation of gene expression in plants and animals, and benefits for both agriculture and medicine.