Massardo, Domenica Rita; Esposito, Bruno; Venesiano, Attilio; Wolf, Klaus W.; Del Giudice, Luigi
Author Affiliation, Ana.
Electron Microscopy Unit
Hyper-expression of small nucleolar RNAs (snoRNAs) in female inflorescence of hazelnut (Corylus avellana L.) supports rRNA aggregation in vitro
Plant and cell physiology
Date of Publication
Under certain in vitro (salt and temperature) conditions rRNA aggregation occurs in female inflorescences but not in leaves or pollen RNA preparations from hazelnut (Corylus avellana L.), a species of economic interest. This paper describes experiments addressing an explanation of this phenomenon. The experiments demonstrate that: (i) trans-acting factors induce rRNA aggregate formation in female inflorescences RNA preparations; (ii) these factors support aggregation also of heterologous rRNA; (iii) aggregation is a function of temperature pre-treatment of rRNA and not of source 18S rRNA; (iv) the factors inducing rRNA aggregates are sensitive to RNase; (v) antisense small nucleolar RNAs (snoRNAs) participate in rRNA aggregate formation. snoRNAs are involved in pre-rRNA spacer cleavages, and are required for the two most common types of rRNA modifications: 2'-O-ribose methylation and pseudouridylation. Even though it is questionable whether rRNA aggregation really happens in female inflorescence in vivo, the phenomenon observed in vitro may reflect the abundance of snoRNAs in these reproductive structures. In fact the level of accumulation of three tested snoRNAs, R1, U14 and U3, is much higher in female inflorescence than in leaves or pollen of hazelnut. This finding opens the possibility of studying the role of snoRNAs in tissue development in plants.....