Project The plant splicing code: regulatory components and functions in developmental processes

Basic data

Title:
The plant splicing code: regulatory components and functions in developmental processes
Duration:
01/04/2015 to 31/01/2019
Abstract / short description:
Alternative splicing (AS) generates messenger RNA (mRNA) variants from one type of precursor mRNA and thereby massively increases transcriptome diversity. Being widespread in plants, AS has been demonstrated to change in response to diverse signals and to be involved in critical physiological processes, such as circadian rhythms, flowering time control, and seed germination. Furthermore, first global regulators of AS have recently been identified in plants. Despite this important progress, the actual scope of AS in plant development and stress responses remains open and functioning of the splicing code, an interaction network of splicing factors and mRNA motifs, is unknown. Our previous work identified Polypyrimidine tract binding proteins (PTBs) from Arabidopsis thaliana as critical regulators of AS and revealed important links to different aspects of plant development and drought tolerance. In the project proposed here, cis-regulatory elements of PTB-mediated AS control will be defined and the interplay of PTBs with other splicing factors from the families of Serine/Arginine-rich (SR) proteins and heterogeneous ribonucleoprotein (hnRNP) proteins will be characterized. Additionally, the role of PTBs in plant development and abiotic stress responses will be further elucidated, and the possible contribution of key AS events or concerted AS programs to these complex biological processes will be analyzed. This work aims at decoding critical components of the plant splicing code and at providing novel insights into the functional implications of this gene regulatory mechanism in the model system A. thaliana. Based on previous findings indicating the involvement of AS in fundamental developmental transitions and other agriculturally relevant traits such as drought tolerance, this work is also expected to lay the foundations for novel approaches in translational research in crop breeding and engineering.
Keywords:
Alternative splicing
Gene regulation (Genregulation)
Polypyrimidine tract binding protein
Abiotic stress
development
Entwicklung

Involved staff

Managers

Department of Biology
Faculty of Science
Center for Plant Molecular Biology (ZMBP)
Department of Biology, Faculty of Science

Contact persons

Center for Plant Molecular Biology (ZMBP)
Department of Biology, Faculty of Science

Local organizational units

Center for Plant Molecular Biology (ZMBP)
Department of Biology
Faculty of Science

Funders

Bonn, Nordrhein-Westfalen, Germany
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