Seed World

Researchers Study Little-Understood IncRNA Molecules

Brian Gregory
Brian Gregory

There is a theory that RNA, instead of DNA, is the original building block of all life. Yet many RNA molecules remain mysterious, their true nature and function little understood. Now, with an award of more than $2.5 million from the National Science Foundation’s Plant Genome Research Program, the University of Pennsylvania’s Brian Gregory joins two scientists from the University of Arizona to study the true nature of a class of mysterious RNA molecules known as IncRNA.
The research project is expected to take four years, over the course of which, “we hope to gain a greater understanding of this potentially important class of molecules, their biology and their function in the cell nucleus,” says Gregory, an assistant professor of biology in Penn’s School of Arts & Sciences and a leading expert in RNA regulation of cellular processes.
The NSF grant will enable the researchers to investigate IncRNA functions in several different plant species, seeking to identify and classify the molecules and to understand their roles in plant cellular processes.
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