ID: 613 / 50

Category: Symposia

Track: Pending


Abstract: Ribosomal DNA (rDNA) encodes 5S, 5.8S, 18S and 25S/26S ribosomal RNAs (rRNA), the major structural and functional components of ribosomes. These genes are ubiquitous, organized into arrays containing hundreds to thousands of tandem repeats at one or more genomic loci. rDNA is also the most evolutionary conserved region of the genome, and its chromosomal and molecular organization, transcription, and evolution have been studied since the dawn of plant molecular biology. Yet, due to its highly repetitive and complex nature, rRNAs/rDNAs have been not accessible for regular genome sequencing approaches, a handicap that is being currently overcome by third-generation long-reads sequencing technologies. The study of ribosomal DNA in plant systematics has historically been focused on the analysis of phylogenetic relationships among species. However, analysing the rDNA component of genomes can provide valuable information in many more aspects relevant to plant genome function, evolution and organisation, among others in: (1) the role of rDNA in diversification and speciation processes, including polyploidy and hybridisation; (2) the functional organisation and regulation of rDNA transcription; (3) on rRNA modifications in response to developmental and environmental challenges; (4) rDNA cytogenetics and organization of the nucleolus; (5) the implication of rDNA in processes related to senescence and longevity; (6) the role of rDNA as target of DNA methylation and its impact on genome stability; (7) the interactions between rDNA and other genomic actors such as transposable elements. As the emerging research and technical improvements in DNA sequencing are broadening our understanding of many aspects of rDNA biology, in this symposium we want to update the current status of knowledge about plant rDNA. The scope covers diverse modern technologies, scientific approaches, and research aimed at achieving a better understanding of the many, complex aspects of rDNA structure, regulation, evolution and functions.

Speaker 1: Hanna Weiss-Schneeweiss Faculty of Life Sciences, Department of Botany and Biodiversity Research Research Group Plant Evolutionary Cytogenetics University of Vienna (Austria) e-mail: Tentative talk title to be determined

Speaker 2: Julio Sáez-Vásquez CNRS, Laboratoire Génome et Développement des Plantes (LGDP) Perpignan (France) e-mail: Tentative talk title to be determined

Speaker 3: Natalia Borowska-Zuchowska Plant Cytogenetics and Molecular Biology Group Institute of Biology, Biotechnology and Environmental Protection Faculty of Natural Sciences University of Silesia in Katowice Katowice (Poland) e-mail: Tentative talk title to be determined

Topics (Up to three): Bioinformatics

Topic 2: Comparative genomics and transcriptomics

Topic 3: Hybrids and Hybridization

Justification: Plant ribosomal DNA (rDNA), studied since the early days of molecular biology, has been significantly advanced by modern genomics approaches. From the first rDNA-based phylogenies, progress in genome sequencing has elevated the studies of rDNA organization, evolution and expression to new and unexpected levels. This symposium aims to address the status of research in plant ribosomal DNA considering multiple approaches and novel perspectives. It is a multidisciplinary symposium bridging the topics: (2) Bioinformatics, (6) Comparative Genomics/Transcriptomics, (15) Functional Molecular Genetics, (17) Hybrids/Hybridization and (22) Phylogenetics and Phylogenomics. Gender balance and geographical diversity both in organizers and speakers have been considered.