PS Webinar Series: Keeping genes alive: the central role of terminators in protecting transgenes from silencing

Abstract -Gene silencing induced by small RNAs (sRNAs) is an important mechanism responsible for many crucial physiological responses in plants, such as genome integrity, defense against virus, adaptation to biotic and abiotic stresses and regulation of development. sRNAs also play a central role in the stability of transgenes, which compared to endogenes, are particularly susceptible to silencing.

In my talk, I will focus on some of our recent research showing how terminators and the process of transcription termination can influence the production of sRNAs from a given locus, directly impacting the stability and expression of a gene, and how plants might use this mechanism to differentiate between exogenous sequences and their own genes.

Biography - Felipe majored in Biology and did his Master in Genetics and Molecular Biology at the Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul (UFRGS), Porto Alegre, Brazil. He then joined the Max Planck Institute for Developmental Biology (Tübingen, Germany) as a PhD student, working in different aspects concerning small RNAs (sRNAs), such as the origin and evolution of microRNAs, mobility of sRNAs and the biogenesis of tasiRNAs. He continued his research with sRNAs as a postdoctoral fellow at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) in Zurich, Switzerland. Since 2017, Felipe works at the group of Prof. Peter Waterhouse at QUT studying the role of sRNAs in the recognition of self and non-self in plants, among other features of the sRNA biology.