Cross-talk between posttranscriptionally silenced neomycin phosphotransferase II transgenes
Tobacco plants containing a transgene locus with two chimeric neomycin phosphotransferase II (nptII) genes in tail-to-tail orientation (locus 1) show posttranscriptional gene silencing. The silenced nptII transgenes of locus 1 can downregulate the expression of homologous nptII transgenes in hybrid plants. The 3' region of the silenced nptII genes located in the center of the inverted repeat locus 1 is extensively methylated. Moreover, 3' segments of in trans-inactivated transgenes also become methylated, suggesting cross-talk between homologous posttranscriptionally silenced genes. Our results are in accordance with the hypothesis that this cross-talk can be mediated by specially featured RNAs. (C) 2000 Federation of European Biochemical Societies.