Plant RNA silencing pathways and their regulation in response to biotic stress

We are interested in using viruses as a tool to study regulation of plant gene expression. More specifically, we are currently investigating the trans-acting siRNA (tasiRNA) pathway that regulates developmental transitions and organ polarity as well as innate responses against pathogens. The ability of Cauliflower mosaic virus and its silencing suppressor protein to stabilize double-stranded RNA precursors of tasiRNAs offered us a unique opportunity to uncover novel features of plant siRNA biogenesis and action as well as unexpected complexity of positive and negative feedback loops that regulate plant silencing pathways.

Selected Publications

Rajeswaran R, Aregger M, Zvereva AS, Borah BK, Gubaeva EG, Pooggin MM. 2012. Sequencing of RDR6-dependent double-stranded RNAs reveals novel features of plant siRNA biogenesis. Nucleic Acids Research 40: 6241-6254.

Rajeswaran R, Pooggin MM. 2012. RDR6-mediated synthesis of complementary RNA is terminated by miRNA stably bound to template RNA. Nucleic Acids Research 40: 594-599.

Shivaprasad PV, Rajeswaran R, Blevins T, Schoelz J, Meins F Jr, Hohn T, Pooggin MM. 2008. The CaMV transactivator/viroplasmin interferes with RDR6-dependent trans-acting and secondary siRNA pathways in Arabidopsis. Nucleic Acids Research 36: 5896-5909.