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Identification and function of regulatory RNA in the phototrophic model organism Synechocystis sp. PCC 6803

Recent data from pro- and eukaryotic organisms show the extremely high potential of non-coding RNAs (ncRNAs) as sequence-specific regulators of gene expression, thereby mediating a plethora of cellular responses to changing environmental clues, and morphological differentiation. Systematic searches for ncRNAs are still lacking for most eubacterial phyla outside the enterobacteria. In general, genes encoding ncRNAs are not annotated during standard genome analysis procedures. Therefore, additional efforts have to be taken to accomplish their identification. In collaboration with the group of Prof. Wolfgang Hess from University of Freiburg we are performing a project on the systematic search for small regulatory RNA molecules in the cyanobacterium Synechocystis sp. PCC 6803 using bioinformatics and molecular methods. Based on this research we verified the existence of a large number of yet unknown functional regulatory RNAs. Our group focuses on investigations of the biological role of small regulatory RNA and the role of the RNA chaperone Hfq in cyanobacteria.


Prof. W. Hess University of Freiburg, Genetics and Experimental Bioinformatics
Dr. Ilka Axmann Humboldt University Berlin, Theoretical Biology
Dr. Jörg Vogel Max Planck Institute for Infection Biology Berlin, RNA Group
Funding: DFG, Schwerpunktprogramm SPP1258


Kadowaki T., Nagayama R., Georg J., Nishiyama Y., Wilde A., Hess W.R., Hihara Y.(2016) A feed-forward loop consisting of RpaB and the small RNA PsrR1 controls light acclimation of photosystem I gene expression in the cyanobacterium Synechocystis sp. PCC 6803. Plant Cell Physiol. 57, 813-823.


Wilde A, Hihara Y. (2016) Transcriptional and posttranscriptional regulation of cyanobacterial photosynthesis. Biochim Biophys Acta 1857, 296-308.


Georg J, Dienst D, Schuergers N, Wallner T, Kopp D, Stazic D, Kuchmina K, Klähn S, Lokstein H, Hess WR, Wilde A. (2014) The small regulatory RNA SyR1/PsrR1 controls photosynthetic functions in cyanobacteria. Plant Cell 26, 3661-79.


Hess WR, Berghoff BA, Wilde A, Steglich C, Klug G. (2014) Riboregulators and the role of Hfq in photosynthetic bacteria. RNA Biol. 11, 413-425.


Schuergers N, Ruppert U, Watanabe S, Nürnberg DJ, Lochnit G, Dienst D, Mullineaux CW, Wilde A. (2014) Binding of the RNA chaperone Hfq to the type IV pilus base is crucial for its function in Synechocystis sp. PCC 6803. Mol. Microbiol. 92, 840-852.


Mitschke, J., Georg, J., Scholz, I., Sharma, C.M., Dienst, D., Bantscheff, J., Voß, B., Steglich, C., Wilde, A., Vogel, J., Hess, W.R. (2011) An experimentally anchored map of transcriptional start sites in the model cyanobacterium Synechocystis sp. PCC 6803. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 108, 2124-2129.


Georg, J., Voss, B., Scholz, I., Mitschke, J., Wilde, A., Hess, W.R. (2009) Evidence for a major role of antisense RNAs in cyanobacterial gene regulation. Molecular Systems Biology 5, 305.


Legewie, S., Dienst, D., Wilde, A., Herzel, H., Axmann, I.M. (2008) Small RNAs establish delays and temporal thresholds in gene expression. Biophys J. 95, 3232-3238.


Dienst, D., Dühring, U., Mollenkopf, H.J., Vogel, J., Golecki, J., Hess, W.R., Wilde, A. (2008) The cyanobacterial homologue of the RNA chaperone Hfq is essential for motility of Synechocystis sp. PCC 6803. Microbiology 154, 3134-3143


Dühring, U., Axmann, I.M., Hess, W.R., Wilde, A. (2006) A naturally occurring antisense RNA affecting expression of isiA and assembly of IsiA supercomplexes. Proc. Nat. Acad. Sci. 103, 7054-7058.

Wilde, A. (2008) Antisense-RNAs in Bakterien. Naturwissenschaftliche Rundschau 61, 226-229

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