RNA-mediated RNA degradation and chalcone synthase A silencing in petunia

Cell. 1997 Mar 21;88(6):845-54. doi: 10.1016/s0092-8674(00)81930-3.


Transgenic Petunia plants with a chsA coding sequence under the control of a 35S promoter sometimes lose endogene and transgene chalcone synthase activity and purple flower pigment through posttranscriptional chsA RNA degradation. In these plants, shorter poly(A)+ and poly(A)- chsA RNAs are found, and a 3' end-specific RNA fragment from the endogene is more resistant to degradation. The termini of this RNA fragment are located in a region of complementarity between the chsA 3' coding region and its 3' untranslated region. Equivalent chsA RNA fragments remain in the white flower tissue of a nontransgenic Petunia variety. We present a model involving cycles of RNA-RNA pairing between complementary sequences followed by endonucleolytic RNA cleavages to describe how RNA degradation is likely to be promoted.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acyltransferases / genetics*
  • Blotting, Northern
  • Endoribonucleases / metabolism
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Enzymologic / physiology
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Plant / physiology
  • Genes, Plant / physiology
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Nucleic Acid Conformation
  • Nucleic Acid Hybridization
  • Phenotype
  • Plant Leaves / enzymology
  • Plant Leaves / genetics
  • Plants, Genetically Modified / physiology
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • RNA, Double-Stranded / metabolism
  • RNA, Messenger / analysis
  • RNA, Messenger / chemistry
  • RNA, Messenger / physiology
  • RNA, Plant / chemistry
  • RNA, Plant / genetics*
  • RNA, Plant / metabolism*
  • Transcription, Genetic / physiology
  • Transgenes / physiology


  • RNA, Double-Stranded
  • RNA, Messenger
  • RNA, Plant
  • Acyltransferases
  • flavanone synthetase
  • Endoribonucleases

Associated data

  • GENBANK/X14591