Ribosomal RNA Genes during Development in the Brine Shrimp Artemia: Structure, Expression and Evolution
Artemia is not yet a very useful organism in terms of its genetics, and certainly does not compare with Drosophila or yeast in this regard. However, the combined use of molecular and biochemical approaches can be very powerful in elucidating mechanisms of gene control during early development. To make effective use of the potential strength of this combined approach, it is important to select a suitable gene for in-depth study. A number of developmentally regulated genes have been identified in Artemia, and several excellent examples are included in this Symposium volume. The particular gene set in which we are interested is the one encoding ribosomal RNAs. Ribosomal RNA genes were the first eukaryotic genes to be isolated in pure form, and these genes are among the most extensively studied. Despite this, we do not yet have a detailed molecular understanding as to the molecular mode of regulation for this gene class. The brine shrimp Artemia offers some unusual advantages in this regard, an appreciation of which can be gleaned from reviews by Hentschel and Tata  and Warner et al. . We believe that gene regulatory molecules, predicted to exist based on molecular data, can be isolated from the appropriate developmental stage(s) for further in-depth characterization of their molecular mode of operation.
KeywordsBrine Shrimp rRNA Synthesis External Transcribe Spacer Secondary Structure Model rRNA Code
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