Gene Silencing
Pretty in pink, the enzyme histone deacetylase (HDA6) stands out against a background of blue-tinted DNA in the nucleus of an Arabidopsis plant cell. Here, HDA6 concentrates in the nucleolus (top center), where ribosomal RNA genes reside. The enzyme silences the ribosomal RNA genes from one parent while those from the other parent remain active. This chromosome-specific silencing of ribosomal RNA genes is an unusual phenomenon observed in hybrid plants. Courtesy of Olga Pontes and Craig Pikaard, geneticists at Washington University in St. Louis.
Featured in the June 20, 2006, issue of Biomedical Beat.
High res. image (146 KB JPEG)