Skip to main content
SLU publication database (SLUpub)
Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2023

The non-coding RNA SVALKA locus produces a cis-natural antisense transcript that negatively regulates the expression of CBF1 and biomass production at normal temperatures

Zacharaki, Vasiliki; Meena, Shiv Kumar; Kindgren, Peter


Non-coding transcription is present in all eukaryotic genomes, but we lack fundamental knowledge about its importance for an organism's ability to develop properly. In plants, emerging evidence highlights the essential biological role of non-coding transcription in the regulation of coding transcription. However, we have few molecular insights into this regulation. Here, we show that a long isoform of the long non coding RNA SVALKA-L (SVK-L) forms a natural antisense transcript to the host gene CBF1 and negatively regulates CBF1 mRNA levels at normal temperatures in the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana. Furthermore, we show detailed evidence for the specific mode of action of SVK-L. This pathway includes the formation of double-stranded RNA that is recognized by the DICER proteins and subsequent downregulation of CBF1 mRNA levels. Thus, the CBF1-SVK regulatory circuit is not only important for its previously known role in cold temperature acclimation but also for biomass production at normal temperatures. Our study characterizes the developmental role of SVK-L and offers mechanistic insight into how biologically important overlapping natural antisense transcripts can act on and fine-tune the steady-state levels of their host gene's mRNA.


SVALKA; cis-natural antisense transcript; non-coding transcription; CBF1; Arabidopsis

Published in

Plant Communications
2023, Volume: 4, number: 4, article number: 100551
Publisher: ELSEVIER