Compensatory sequence variation between trans-species small rnas and their target sites

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21 Scopus citations


Trans-species small regulatory RNAs (sRNAs) are delivered to host plants from diverse pathogens and parasites and can target host mRNAs. How trans-species sRNAs can be effective on diverse hosts has been unclear. Multiple species of the parasitic plant Cuscuta produce trans-species sRNAs that collectively target many host mRNAs. Confirmed target sites are nearly always in highly conserved, protein-coding regions of host mRNAs. Cuscuta trans-species sRNAs can be grouped into superfamilies that have variation in a three-nucleotide period. These variants compensate for synonymous-site variation in host mRNAs. By targeting host mRNAs at highly conserved protein-coding sites, and simultaneously expressing multiple variants to cover synonymous-site variation, Cuscuta trans-species sRNAs may be able to successfully target multiple homologous mRNAs from diverse hosts.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere49750
StatePublished - Dec 2019

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Neuroscience
  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Immunology and Microbiology


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