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Recent publication: Unique features of the m6A methylome in Arabidopsis thaliana

(a) Accumulation of m6A-IP reads along transcripts. Each transcript is divided into three parts: 5′ UTRs, CDs and 3′ UTRs. (b) The ​m6A peak distribution within different gene contexts. Left panel: total genes with ​m6A peaks; right panel: genes conserved in human and Arabidopsis.
(a) Accumulation of m6A-IP reads along transcripts. Each transcript is divided into three parts: 5′ UTRs, CDs and 3′ UTRs. (b) The ​m6A peak distribution within different gene contexts. Left panel: total genes with ​m6A peaks; right panel: genes conserved in human and Arabidopsis.
Graduate student Alice MacQueen investigated the transcriptome-wide patterns of mRNA editing in a collaboration with the group of Chuan He at the Department of Chemistry and Institute for Biophysical Dynamics at the University of Chicago. m6A mRNA editing is essential for plant development, but the role this editing mark plays in the cell is still unknown. The research team found that m6A editing in plants is distinct from editing in yeast and mammals, enriched not only around the stop codon and within 3′-untranslated regions, but also around the start codon .
Deposition of this editing mark around the start codon was associated with chloroplast-specific genes and increased mRNA abundance, which suggests a regulatory role for m6A editing in plants distinct from other eukaryotes described to date.