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Biochimie. 2005 Sep-Oct;87(9-10):905-10.

Identification of new small non-coding RNAs from tobacco and Arabidopsis.

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  • 1Atelier de bio-informatique, universit√© Pierre-et-Marie-Curie, 12, rue Cuvier, 75005 Paris, France.


Small non-coding RNAs (ncRNAs) have typically been searched in fully sequenced genomes using one of two approaches-experimental or computational. We developed a mixed method, using both types of information, which has the advantage of applying bio-computing methods to actually expressed sequences. Our method allowed the identification of new small ncRNAs in Arabidopsis thaliana and in the unfinished genome of Nicotiana tabacum. We constructed a N. tabacum cDNA library from small RNAs ranging from 20 to 30 nucleotides (nt). The sequences from 73 unique clones were compared to the A. thaliana genome and to all plant sequences using a pattern-matching approach (program Patbank). Thus, we selected 15 clones from the library corresponding mostly to A. thaliana or N. tabacum non-coding sequences. By Northern blot analyses, we confirmed the presence of most RNA candidates in Arabidopsis and in Nicotiana sylvestris with a size range of 21-100 nt. To gain more insight into the possible genesis of 21-24 nt sequences, stable folding of sRNAs with their flanking regions were predicted with the software MIRFOLD dedicated to the folding of microRNAs (miRNA). Stable hairpins structures were observed for some putative miRNAs.

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