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Georgia Journal of Science

Article Title

IDENTIFICATION OF NEW MICRORNAS IN CHLAMYDOMONAS REINHARDTII

Abstract

MicroRNAs are small single stranded noncoding RNAs. Their function is to regulate gene expression by binding to their target mRNAs resulting in either the specific degradation of these mRNAs or the block of their translation. MicroRNAs are involved in nearly every biological processes such as cell cycle control, apoptosis, and several developmental and physiological processes including stem cell differentiation. MicroRNAs have been identified in bacteria, fungi, animals, and plants, including algae. Chlamydomonas reinhardtii is a single-cell green alga. It is a well-established biological model organism due to its ease of culturing and suitability to genetic manipulations. For example, Chlamydomonas reinhardtii, is used to study basic processes of cell biology including cell movement and recognition. Our objective for this project is to identify new microRNAs from Chlamydomonas reinhardtii. We are using a bioinformatics approach to analyze small Chlamydomonas RNAs sequences available in the NCBI database and then compare these sequences to all the known miRNAs. Our research is important because miss-expression of miRNAs have been linked to several human diseases. MiRNAs may be used as indicators and therapeutic tools for certain human diseases. The identification of new miRNAs from Chlamydomonas reinhardtii has the potential to increase our knowledge of miRNA in this species. The same miRNA can then be identified in other species, giving hope that some of these miRNA are present in many vital functions of plants and animals.

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