Biotech Updates

Scientists Discover Puzzling Nature of RNA Editing in Plants

May 10, 2023

Researchers from the Chinese Academy of Sciences revealed the diversity of RNA editing in chloroplast transcripts across three major plant clades: fern, gymnosperm, and angiosperm. Their findings are published in the journal Plant Systematics and Evolution. 

RNA (ribonucleic acid) editing is a vital process in sustaining the important roles of encoded proteins at the RNA level. Previous studies have shown that RNA editing commonly occurs in different land plants, but there were only a few studies that compare chloroplast RNA editing within and between groups except for ferns. This led the researchers to pick out plant species representing the three distant evolutionary clades and pinpoint editing sites.

The findings show that there are over five thousand editing sites in the chloroplast genes of 21 species. It was found that the clustering relationships of the numbers of RNA editing sites approximately match the phylogenetic tree based on gene sequences. This finding implies that RNA editing is comparatively conservative across the plant kingdom and follows the laws of evolution roughly.

Read more about the study in Plant Systematics and Evolution.

You might also like: