The long-term research interest in the Yu Lab is to understand the molecular mechanisms underlying small RNA metabolism and function. Small RNAs, including microRNAs (miRNAs) and small interfering RNAs (siRNAs), are 20-to-24-nucleotide (nt) RNAs that function as sequence-specific regulators of gene expression at both transcriptional and post-transcriptional levels in eukaryotes. These small RNAs are involved in numerous cellular processes, including development, differentiation, proliferation, apoptosis, stress responses and epigenetic modifications. Researchers currently employ a combination of genetic, biochemical, cell biological, and genomic approaches to identify and characterize components involved in small RNA metabolism and activities in Arabidopsis thaliana and crops such as soybean, maize, rice and tomato.
Graduate student mentorship through the following programs:Research Keywords
Biochemistry, Biotechnology, Functional Genomics, Post-translational Modifications, RNA Silencing, Small RNAs