Synthesis of complementary RNA by RNA-dependent RNA polymerases in plant extracts is independent of an RNA primer

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Journal Article
Functional Plant Biology, 2008, 35 (11), pp. 1091 - 1099
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RNA-dependent RNA polymerase (RDR) activities were readily detected in extracts from cauliflower and broccoli florets, Arabidopsis thaliana (L.) Heynh callus tissue and broccoli nuclei. The synthesis of complementary RNA (cRNA) was independent of a RNA primer, whether or not the primer contained a 3′ terminal 2′-O-methyl group or was phosphorylated at the 5′ terminus. cRNA synthesis in plant extracts was not affected by loss-of-function mutations in the DICER-LIKE (DCL) proteins DCL2, DCL3, and DCL4, indicating that RDRs function independently of these DCL proteins. A loss-of-function mutation in RDR1, RDR2 or RDR6 did not significantly reduce the amount of cRNA synthesis. This indicates that these RDRs did not account for the bulk RDR activities in plant extracts, and suggest that either the individual RDRs each contribute a fraction of polymerase activity or another RDR(s) is predominant in the plant extract. © CSIRO 2008.
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