WISB are delighted to announce that Francisco J. Navarro, from the Department of Plant Sciences at the University of Cambridge, will be delivering a Seminar Series lecture at 1pm on Wednesday 21 March 2018. Full details of his talk are included below.

If you are interested in attending, please contact wisb@warwick.ac.uk for room details.

Talk title: miRNA-mediated regulation of synthetic gene circuits in the green alga Chlamydomonas reinhardtii

Talk abstract: microRNAs (miRNAs), small RNA molecules of 20–24 nts, have a number of features that make them ideal tools to regulate gene expression — small size, flexible design, target predictability and action at a late stage of the gene expression pipeline. miRNAs confer robustness to gene networks and are involved in the fine-tuning of gene expression, functions which are desirable to implement in plant synthetic gene networks. The use of miRNAs in synthetic circuits requires a good understanding of their quantitative parameters and mode of action, which is, however, hindered by the complexity of natural systems. Here we apply a synthetic biology approach to characterize miRNA-mediated gene expression regulation in the unicellular green alga Chlamydomonas reinhardtii. Using fluorescent reporter systems we quantify miRNA-mediated repression activity, study the mode of action of miRNAs, and identify synthetic miRNAs with different repression activities. We utilize this characterization to design and implement miRNA-mediated synthetic gene circuits in the alga. These results, which are revealing key features of Chlamydomonas miRNA pathway, will be used as a proof-of-concept for the engineering of miRNA-based gene circuits in higher plants.

WISB has been funded by the above bodies