Saumya Agrawal

Doctor of Philosophy, (Genetics)
Study Completed: 2014
College of Sciences


Thesis Title
Characterisation of the human nucleolar organiser regions

Read article at Massey Research Online: MRO icon

The nucleolar organizer region is the chromosomal location in eukaryotes around which the ribosome factory of the cell nucleolus is formed. Ribosomal DNA (rDNA) repeats are the major component of nucleolar organizer regions. In addition to their role in ribosome formation, the rDNA repeats are thought to contain many non-coding functional elements that are involved in a variety of cellular processes, including genome stability and aging. Ms Agrawal identified several potential functional elements in human rDNA and provided evidence of their possible roles. Her work will be helpful for exploring the role of rDNA in different biological processes in humans. Ms Agrawal also characterized a critical region that is missing from the current human genome assembly, the region surrounding the rDNA repeat array. Her work provides a platform for exploring the role of this critical region, which is thought to play a role in nucleolus formation, in different cellular conditions, including cancer.

Dr Austen Ganley
Professor Peter Lockhart
Professor Murray Cox