Transgene silencing in monocots
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Plant gene silencing was originally thought to be a quirk of transformation procedures, but is now recognized to be a facet of vitally important gene regulatory systems, present in all organisms. Monocot plants, especially the grasses, play a foremost role in the agricultural economy of all nations, and their biotechnological manipulation offers great potential for both developed and developing countries. Here, we review reported instances of transgene silencing in monocots and relate the processes of transcriptional and post-transcriptional gene silencing (TGS, PTGS) in perspective to the rapidly burgeoning knowledge of these phenomena in many organisms. Recent findings include the involvement of an RNA-dependent RNA polymerase and a nuclease in PTGS systems and the close relationship between methylation and chromatin structure in TGS events.
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