Gene silencing in microalgae: Mechanisms and biological roles

Eun Jeong Kim, Xinrong Ma, Heriberto Cerutti

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations

Abstract

Microalgae exhibit enormous diversity and can potentially contribute to the production of biofuels and high value compounds. However, for most species, our knowledge of their physiology, metabolism, and gene regulation is fairly limited. In eukaryotes, gene silencing mechanisms play important roles in both the reversible repression of genes that are required only in certain contexts and the suppression of genome invaders such at transposons. The recent sequencing of several algal genomes is providing insights into the complexity of these mechanisms in microalgae. Collectively, glaucophyte, red, and green microalgae contain the machineries involved in repressive histone H3 lysine methylation, DNA cytosine methylation, and RNA interference. However, individual species often only have subsets of these gene silencing mechanisms. Moreover, current evidence suggests that algal silencing systems function in transposon and transgene repression but their role(s) in gene regulation or other cellular processes remains virtually unexplored, hindering rational genetic engineering efforts.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)23-32
Number of pages10
JournalBioresource Technology
Volume184
DOIs
StatePublished - May 1 2015

Keywords

  • DNA methylation
  • Epigenetics
  • Histone post-translational modifications
  • MiRNAs
  • RNA interference

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Bioengineering
  • Environmental Engineering
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Waste Management and Disposal

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