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Title: pUG RNAs and Their Role in Transgenerational Silencing

Name: Maria Gajic

Major: Molecular Biology & Biochemistry

School affiliation: School of Arts and Sciences

Programs: Honors College with Johnson & Johnson Women in STEM2D Life Sciences Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (HCW-SURF)

Other contributors: Sam Gu, Anna Zhebrun, and Julie Ni

Abstract: pUG RNAs are RNAs with a perfectly alternating U and G tail at their 3′ end which converts otherwise inactive RNAs into RNAi templates that allow for gene silencing to occur. Through an amplification cycle involving the pUG RNAs and siRNAs, pUG RNAs and their silencing effects are seen in future generations allowing for transgenerational silencing to occur. We aim to work towards identifying the specific sites where pUGylation occurs, including sites of endogenous targets in C. elegans genome, and hope in the long run to build a better understanding of the role that pUG RNAs play in RNAi and allowing these silencing effects to become transgenerational.