Identification and comparison of non-coding RNAs and ribonucleoprotein complexes in several diverse protist species

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McWatters, David Casey
University of Lethbridge. Faculty of Arts and Science
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Lethbridge, Alta. : University of Lethbridge, Dept. of Biological Sciences
Many different classes of non-coding (nc)RNAs are found in species throughout the tree of life, each of which performs important cellular functions. The objective of my thesis was to identify and characterize ncRNAs and their associated protein complexes, with particular focus on small nucleolar RNAs (snoRNA), in unicellular eukaryotes whose genomes have undergone significant reduction or expansion. To do this I utilized the unicellular eukaryotes Giardia lamblia, Giardia muris and Euglena gracilis. A diRNP containing RNase P and snoRNA domains that targets tRNAMet 2ʹ-O-methylation and the U3 snoRNA were discovered and characterized in two Giardia species. Unique binding/assembly properties were determined for C/D snoRNP proteins in G. lamblia. A large collection of E. gracilis snoRNAs were discovered leading to a better understanding Ψ-guide snoRNA structure and evolution. These findings highlight the diversity of ncRNA features that exist in less well studied eukaryotic species, and their unique functions.
snoRNA , snRNA , Giardia lamblia , Euglena gracilis , telomerase , evolution , Non-coding RNA , Eukaryotic cells--Genetics , Giardia lamblia--Research , Euglena gracilis--Research , Telormerase , Evolution (Biology) , Nucleoproteins , Protista , RNA-protein interactions , Dissertations, Academic