Gene expression is the process whereby the genetic information of DNA is used to manufacture functional products, such as proteins, which have numerous different functions in living organisms. Messenger RNA (mRNA) serves as an important intermediary during gene expression, by relating the genetic information of DNA to the molecular mechanisms involved in manufacturing proteins.
By examining the different types and amounts of mRNA molecules present in an organism at a given time, researchers can determine which specific genes are being expressed. This, in turn, offers tremendous insight into the genes responsible for producing different morphological forms (or phenotypes).
Scientists generally rely on in situ hybridization (ISH) techniques (using mRNA-specific probes) to determine the presence or absence of particular mRNA molecules in plant tissues. Most traditional ISH methods, however, are time- and labor-intensive and lack the sensitivity necessary to precisely quantify the amount of expression of each gene.
In a new study in the April issue of Applications in Plant Sciences (available for free viewing at http://www.bioone.org/doi/pdf/10.3732/apps.1400011), researchers from Dow AgroSciences demonstrate the effectiveness of a new ISH method, called RNAscope ISH, for studies of gene expression in plants. In contrast to traditional approaches, RNAScope ISH is significantly faster and highly sensitive, permitting researchers to not only detect but also quantify, with confidence, the expression levels shown by genes of interest.
RNAScope ISH was developed by Advanced Cell Diagnostics (ACD) Inc., initially for studies of gene expression in animal (and especially human) tissues. It is a type of branched DNA ISH that uses pairs of 'Z-probes,' which are highly specific to target genes, but also small enough to easily diffuse into the tissues
|Contact: Beth Parada|
American Journal of Botany