Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

MicroRNAs Found In Unicellular Organism For First Time

Date:
April 30, 2007
Source:
Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory
Summary:
Scientists discover microRNAs in the unicellular green alga, Chlamydomonas reinhardtii. This is the first finding of microRNAs in a unicellular organism.

An international collaboration of researchers, led by Dr. Yijun Qi (National Institute of Biological Sciences, China), report the discovery of microRNAs in the unicellular green alga, Chlamydomonas reinhardtii. This is the first finding of microRNAs in a unicellular organism.

"The finding changes the dogma that miRNAs only exist in multicellular organisms, and adds an important piece into the blooming small RNA world. A pressing question we have now is what these miRNAs are exactly doing in the green alga. I hope we will know the answers soon," says Dr. Qi.

MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are a class of conserved, approximately 21-nucleotide long RNAs that regulate the expression of genes by either cleaving complementary mRNA targets or repressing their translation. MiRNAs have been identified in both plants and animals, acting as key regulators of multicellular development.

Dr. Qi and colleagues now extend the range of miRNAs into unicellular organisms, with their discovery of a large number of miRNAs in green algae. The researchers showed that unicellular miRNAs share functional characteristics with plants miRNAs, in so far as they can direct the cleavage of target mRNAs in vitro and in vivo. Furthermore, they found that miRNA expression patterns changed during gamete differentiation, suggesting a possible role in regulating sexual reproduction.

The discovery of miRNAs in a unicellular organism has evolutionary implications as well. While the existence of miRNAs in unicellular and multicellular organisms suggests that the miRNA pathway arose before these lineages split, the lack of universally conserved miRNA genes in algae, plants and animals suggests that they may have evolved independently.

Reference: Dr. Yijun Qi, et al, Genes & Development, (in press) May 15, 2007


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory. "MicroRNAs Found In Unicellular Organism For First Time." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 30 April 2007. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/04/070429170635.htm>.
Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory. (2007, April 30). MicroRNAs Found In Unicellular Organism For First Time. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/04/070429170635.htm
Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory. "MicroRNAs Found In Unicellular Organism For First Time." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/04/070429170635.htm (accessed August 20, 2014).

Share This




More Plants & Animals News

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Awesome New Camouflage Sheet Was Inspired By Octopus Skin

Awesome New Camouflage Sheet Was Inspired By Octopus Skin

Newsy (Aug. 19, 2014) Scientists have developed a new device that mimics the way octopuses blend in with their surroundings to hide from dangerous predators. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Disquieting Times for Malaysia's 'fish Listeners'

Disquieting Times for Malaysia's 'fish Listeners'

AFP (Aug. 19, 2014) Malaysia's last "fish listeners" -- practitioners of a dying local art of listening underwater to locate their quarry -- try to keep the ancient technique alive in the face of industrial trawling and the depletion of stocks. Duration: 02:29 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
USDA Cracks Down On Imports From Foreign Puppy Mills

USDA Cracks Down On Imports From Foreign Puppy Mills

Newsy (Aug. 18, 2014) New USDA measures to regulate dog imports aim to crack down on buying dogs from overseas puppy mills. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Bone Marrow Drug Regrows Hair In Some Alopecia Patients

Bone Marrow Drug Regrows Hair In Some Alopecia Patients

Newsy (Aug. 18, 2014) Researchers performed an experiment using an FDA-approved drug known as ruxolitinib. They found it to be successful in the majority of patients. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins