2019 Student Research Conference:
32nd Annual Student Research Conference

Bioinformatic Analysis of the Rpb4 Gene Structure in Plants and Animals.


Caleb M. Stull
Dr. Brent Buckner, Faculty Mentor

The Rpb4 gene encodes the fourth largest subunit of RNA Polymerase II. In the monocot maize, Rpb4 has two exons; exon 1 is considerably shorter than exon 2. By comparison, Rpb4 in the eudicot Arabidopsis has 6 exons, the first being the same length as maize exon 1. One explanation for these observations is there has been an intron loss event in the maize Rpb4. We used bioinformatic tools to determine the exon-intron organization of Rpb4 from plants and animals curated at the Ensembl genome browser. Among large groups of related taxa, the number and placement of introns has been conserved, however, the intron lengths are highly variable. Within the monocotyledon grasses there has been a loss of 4 introns. There are, however, monocots which share intron number and placement with the majority of eudicots. Thus, the grass intron loss event may have occurred 70 to 100 million years ago.

Keywords: Maize, Gene Structure, Exon, Intron, Evolution

Topic(s):Biology
Chemistry

Presentation Type: Poster

Session: 8-18
Location: SUB GEO
Time: 3:00

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