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'Noisy' Gene Atlas to Explain How Plants Survive Environmental Changes
Posted by: Prof. Dr. M. Raupp (IP Logged)
Date: February 05, 2019 05:40AM

Scientists at the Sainsbury University (SLCU) have built a
[] gene
expression atlas that maps the 'noisy genes' of genetically identical

Using thale cress seedlings, the researchers conducted RNA-sequencing on
individual seedlings every two hours over a 24-hour period and analyzed the
variability for 15,646 individual genes in the plant's genome. The
researchers found that around 9% (1,358 individual genes) of the genes in
identical plants are highly variable in the way they behave. Interestingly,
many of these highly variable or 'noisiest' genes help a plant respond to
its environment, including genes involved in reacting to light, temperature,
pathogens, and nutrients.

The study also identified factors that might increase gene expression
variability. Highly variable genes tend to be shorter, to be targeted by a
higher number of other genes (transcription factors) and to be characterized
by a 'closed' chromatin environment (which is an environment that allows
gene expression to be altered by attaching additional molecules during the
gene reading process (transcription) without actually changing a cell's

SLCU Research Group Leader Dr. James Locke, said the data was a significant
new resource for further research. 'This is an important resource for
scientists studying how genetically identical plants survive fluctuating
environments and provides a basis for future work looking at how genetic and
epigenetic factors regulate variability for individual genes.'


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