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The use of RNAi to analyze gene function in spirotrichous ciliates

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The use of small double-stranded RNA to inhibit expression of genes has proven to be a powerful tool to analyze the biological function of genes in various eukaryotic organisms. We have established the RNAi technology in three genera of spirotrichous ciliates, Euplotes, Oxytricha and Stylonychia. Here we describe this method to silence gene expression in these three genera. Expression of the following genes was inhibited: the catalytic subunit of telomerase (TERT) and the telomerase-associated protein p43 in Euplotes and the a-subunit of the telomere-binding protein (αTeBP) of Stylonychia and Oxytricha. In addition, we report how the biological function of a developmentally regulated gene can be elucidated by this technique in Stylonychia.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Institute of Cell Biology, University Witten/Herdecke, Stockumer Str. 10, D-58448 Witten, Germany;, Email:

Publication date: December 1, 2003

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