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Horizontal Transfer of Small RNAs to and from Plants

Horizontal Transfer of Small RNAs to and from Plants | plant virus |
Genetic information is traditionally thought to be transferred from parents to offspring. However, there is evidence indicating that gene transfer can also occur from microbes to higher species, such as plants, invertebrates, and vertebrates. This horizontal transfer can be carried out by small RNAs (sRNAs). sRNAs have been recently reported to move across kingdoms as mobile signals, spreading silencing information toward targeted genes. sRNAs, especially microRNAs (miRNAs) and small interfering RNAs (siRNAs), are non-coding molecules that control gene expression at the transcriptional or post-transcriptional level. Some sRNAs act in a cross-kingdom manner between animals and their parasites, but little is known about such sRNAs associated with plants. In this report, we provide a brief introduction to miRNAs that are transferred from plants to mammals/viruses and siRNAs that are transferred from microbes to plants. Both miRNAs and siRNAs can exert corresponding functions in the target organisms. Additionally, we provide information concerning a host-induced gene silencing system as a potential application that utilizes the transgenic trafficking of RNA molecules to silence the genes of interacting organisms. Moreover, we lay out the controversial views regarding cross-kingdom miRNAs and call for better methodology and experimental design to confirm this unique function of miRNAs.

Via Jean-Michel Ané
Rescooped by song from Plants and Microbes!

PLOS Pathogens: Plant Virus Ecology (2013)

PLOS Pathogens: Plant Virus Ecology (2013) | plant virus |

Viruses have generally been studied either as disease-causing infectious agents that have a negative impact on the host (most eukaryote-infecting viruses), or as tools for molecular biology (especially bacteria-infecting viruses, or phage). Virus ecology looks at the more complex issues of virus-host-environment interactions. For plant viruses this includes studies of plant virus biodiversity, including viruses sampled directly from plants and from a variety of other environments; how plant viruses impact species invasion; interactions between plants, viruses and insects; the large number of persistent viruses in plants that may have epigenetic effects; and viruses that provide a clear benefit to their plant hosts (mutualists). Plants in a non-agricultural setting interact with many other living entities such as animals, insects, and other plants, as well as their physical environment. Wild plants are almost always colonized by a number of microbes, including fungi, bacteria and viruses. Viruses may impact any of these interactions.

Via Kamoun Lab @ TSL
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Ten Simple Rules for Making Good Oral Presentations

Ten Simple Rules for Making Good Oral Presentations | plant virus |

Continuing our “Ten Simple Rules” series [1–5], we consider here what it takes to make a good oral presentation. While the rules apply broadly across disciplines, they are certainly important from the perspective of this readership. Clear and logical delivery of your ideas and scientific results is an important component of a successful scientific career. Presentations encourage broader dissemination of your work and highlight work that may not receive attention in written form.

Via Chris Upton + helpers
Ana Sanchez's curator insight, April 28, 2014 5:31 AM

A good summary of the usual advises prepared for computational biologists but of course applicable to all scientists. Check also "Ten simple rules to get published" from this series.

The summary is here but be sure to read the full meaning of each rule.


1: Talk to the Audience
2: Less is More
3: Only Talk When You Have Something to Say
4: Make the Take-Home Message Persistent
5: Be Logical
6: Treat the Floor as a Stage

7: Practice and Time Your Presentation
8: Use Visuals Sparingly but Effectively
9: Review Audio and/or Video of Your Presentations

10: Provide Appropriate Acknowledgments