Condition-specific RNA editing in S. microadriaticum

28 February, 2017

Our latest publication in PLOS Genetics describe the discovery of RNA editing in nuclear-encoded genes of Symbiodinium microadriaticum, which belongs to a clade of algal symbionts of corals. RNA editing is the process where the transcript sequences are modified post-transcriptionally, thus producing proteins that differ slightly from the version encoded in the genome.
More interestingly, when we subjected cultures to short-term, bleaching-relevant stressors, we observed that some genes had shifts in editing ratios that were specific to the stressor. We postulate that RNA editing might be a low cost system for these haploid organisms to adapt to their surroundings, as they could produce protein variants without incurring expensive and possibly deleterious mutations in their genomes.

Read the open access article (linked below) for further details!