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New RNA polymerase discovered in plants

s when its gone, but not how it behaves, at this point," he said. "We don't know its template, or what kind of RNA ?long or short ?it makes. Presumably, because it is inherently different from the other RNA polymerases, the rules of activity are different for Pol IV."

Pikaard said the Pol IV has a perfect match in rice, the only other plant genome to be sequenced, despite rice being a monocotyledon and Arabidopsis a dicotyledon.

"These two plants diverged 200 million years ago, and there is some speculation that this form of polymerase might extend twice as far back in evolution,' Pikaard said.

Pikaard said that it is strange that so far this kind of polymerase has been found only in plants.

"Why would plants only have these?" he questioned. "It is a bit of a mystery how other organisms that use small RNAs and that also do methylation get by without a Pol IV. It might be possible that they have something equivalent, and maybe we haven't looked hard enough. "


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Source:Washington University in St. Louis


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