Ribosomal RNA transcriptional regulation in Trypanosoma brucei – balancing the competing demands for RNA polymerase-I

Sam Alsford (primary)
Infection Biology
Martin Taylor (secondary)
Infection Biology


Uniquely among eukaryotes, Trypanosoma brucei uses RNA polymerase-I (RNAPI) to transcribe a subset of genes, including VSG. Our understanding of VSG monoallelic gene expression has advanced however little is known regarding trypanosomal rRNA transcriptional regulation. Cellular RNA is dominated by rRNA, and ~10% mRNA encodes for VSG. Prior work in the Alsford and Taylor laboratories has shown that only a subset of rDNA loci are active in bloodstream-form T. brucei, hinting at robust rRNA transcriptional regulation. A combination of high-throughput RNAi library screening and molecular and cell biology approaches will decode the integration of rDNA and VSG RNAPI-mediated transcription.


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Genes, development and STEM* approaches to biology
Area of Biology
Cell BiologyMicrobiology
Techniques & Approaches
BioinformaticsMicroscopy / ElectrophysiologyMolecular Biology