UCARE: Undergraduate Creative Activities & Research Experiences


Date of this Version

Summer 8-2016

Document Type



University of Nebraska-Lincoln, UCARE Poster Session, Summer 2016.


Copyright (c) 2016 Lexis Funk, Weishu Fan, Jeffrey P. Mower


RNA editing is one of several post-transcriptional RNA processes. This process generates RNA and protein diversity in eukaryotes and results in specific amino acid substitutions, deletions, and changes in gene expression levels. It occurs in both plastids and mitochondria and typically involves the changing of specific C to U (cytosine to uracil). Welwitschia belongs to the gymnosperms (a group of seed-producing plants that includes conifers, cycads, Ginkgo, and Gnetales). It has already been substantiated that Welwitschia mirabilis has a major loss of cis-spliced introns and unusual trans-splicing introns. Research in the Mower lab has already proven that ancestral gymnosperm has high editing sites, from examining Ginkgo and Cycas. Knowing these high editing sites in other Gymnosperms, a prediction was made in Welwitschia mirabilis for a major loss of editing. In this study, we wished to evaluate the accuracy of this prediction. Data confirmed that RNA editing is very low in Welwitschia, and surprisingly, even lower than the predicted number. Within the 16 examined functional protein-coding genes in Welwitschia mitogenome, RNA editing sites were detected from only 5 of them.