Seminar Selma Gago Zachert (Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg, Halle, Germany) 10th DECEMBER 12:30 (on line)

“Natural antisense long noncoding RNAs: characteristics and
role in gene-expression regulation“
Abstract: Long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) are transcripts longer than 200 nt and without protein-coding capacity that have been identified due to the massive use of deep-sequencing methods, which have revealed that most of the genome is transcribed. Natural antisense lncRNAs (NAT-lncRNAs) are transcribed from the opposite DNA strand of a protein-coding gene and can modulate the expression of target genes by acting in cis or in trans in the nucleus, by interacting with other RNAs or proteins in the cytosol or by the activity of small peptides encoded in their sequences. Combining several approaches, we characterized NAT-lncRNAs present in multigene families of the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana and further studied their mechanism of action. We ambition to understand the role of NAT-lncRNAs in the context of multigene families, to define the processes in which they are involved and to decipher the regulatory network subjacent to their action.

Biography: Since 2020 Selma Gago Zachert is a staff scientist in the Section of Microbial Biotechnology at the Institute of Biochemistry and Biotechnology of the Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg in Halle (Saale), Germany. Previously she was head of the “Regulatory RNAs” group at the Leibniz Institute of Plant Biochemistry (IPB), which focused on the molecular and functional characterization of natural antisense long non-coding RNAs present in multigene families of the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana. In addition to the study of long non-coding RNAs, Selma´s current work focuses on the development and validation of RNA-mediated plant protection strategies against pathogens, with a special focus on viruses and fungi, and on the analysis of A. thaliana accessions for plant defense-related traits. Selma holds a degree in Genetics from the National University of Misiones, Argentina and a PhD in Biological Sciences from the University of La Plata, Argentina and did her postdoctoral research in the “Viroids: structure, function and evolution” group led by Ricardo Flores at the Institute of Plant Molecular and Cellular Biology (IBMCP), Valencia, Spain.

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