Professor Xuemei Chen–Department of Botany and Plant Sciences, University of California, Riverside–visits the Indiana University Department of Biology to give the Carlos O. Miller Lecture on Thursday, October 30, at 4 p.m. in Myers Hall 130 (915 E. Third St., Bloomington, IN). The title of her talk is “Mechanisms of microRNA turnover in Arabidopsis.” Dr. Chen is a Howard Hughes Medical Institute and Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation Investigator.
Dr. Chen and her lab focus on two major areas of research. In one, they dissect the genetic networks controlling stem cell maintenance and termination. In the other, they study the biogenesis, degradation, and mode of action of small RNAs and long noncoding RNAs. The topic of her talk will be microRNAs (miRNAs), a class of small regulatory RNAs that have large impacts on gene expression in both plants and animals. Chen and her lab have been studying the mechanisms underlying the metabolism of miRNAs in Arabidopsis. As the framework of miRNA biogenesis has been established, their recent studies have focused on the mechanisms of miRNA turnover. They identified two classes of enzymes, exonucleases and nucleotidyl transferases, which cause miRNA 3’ truncation and 3’ uridylation, respectively, to lead to miRNA degradation. They also found that an argonaute protein causes the degradation of its associated miRNA. Their studies seek to establish a molecular framework of miRNA turnover.
The Carlos O. Miller Lectures honor Professor Carlos Miller (1923-2012), a beloved member of the Indiana University Department of Biology faculty for 55 years, who had a longstanding interest in the mechanisms of plant growth and development. Established in 2004, the lecture series brings prominent scientists to Bloomington to discuss their research.
The Chen Lab: http://cepceb.ucr.edu/people/chen.html
The Carlos O. Miller Lecture Series: http://www.bio.indiana.edu/events/lectures/miller.shtml