The role of RNAi genes in Neurospora crassa post-transcriptional gene silencing
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Meiotic silencing was first identified in the bread mold Neurospora crassa (by our group and others) and has since been discovered in worms, mice, and humans. Neurospora is an excellent model organism in that it is inexpensive, has a relatively small number of genes, and a rapid life cycle with two distinct phases. During sexual reproduction, a surveillance system called Meiotic Silencing by Unpaired DNA, or MSUD, inspects all of the chromosomes from both parents for any genes out of place. When an unpaired gene is found, it signals that there might be an invader such as a virus and shuts off every copy of that gene. Significant progress has been made in identifying MSUD components; however, less has been shown about how the components of the MSUD machinery physically interact. In this work, we identified two new components of this process that form a complex with other MSUD components and are important for MSUD.