Small, regulatory, non-coding RNA (ncRNA) is involved in various cell functions in both prokaryotes and eukaryotes. However, information on ncRNA in cyanobacteria is still scarce. We studied ncRNA genes by computational screening to compare the intergenic regions of the Synechococcus elongatus PCC 6301 genome with the genomes of three freshwater cyanobacteria. We identified an ncRNA gene in S. elongatus, which has been previously described as yfr1 in marine cyanobacteria. The S. elongatus yfr1 gene is 65 nucleotides long and is positioned between guaB and trxA. We found a high conservation of the yfr1 gene in most cyanobacterial lineages. A yfr1-deficient mutant showed reduced growth under various stress conditions, e.g. oxidative stress and high salt stress conditions, and showed unusual accumulation of sbtA mRNA. A gel shift assay demonstrated interaction of the Yfr1 RNA with sbtA mRNA in vitro. This suggests that the sbtA transcript is a target RNA for the Yfr1 RNA.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Plant Science
- Cell Biology