MicroRNAs and their diverse functions in plants

Sun, Guiling
September 2012
Plant Molecular Biology;Sep2012, Vol. 80 Issue 1, p17
Academic Journal
microRNAs (miRNAs) are an extensive class of newly identified small RNAs, which regulate gene expression at the post-transcriptional level by mRNA cleavage or translation inhibition. Currently, there are 3,070 miRNAs deposited in the public available miRNA database; these miRNAs were obtained from 43 plant species using both computational (comparative genomics) and experimental (direct cloning and deep sequencing) approaches. Like other signaling molecules, plant miRNAs can also be moved from one tissue to another through the vascular system. These mobile miRNAs may play an important role in plant nutrient homeostasis and response to environmental biotic and abiotic stresses. In addition, miRNAs also control a wide range of biological and metabolic processes, including developmental timing, tissue-specific development, and stem cell maintenance and differentiation. Currently, a majority of plant miRNA-related researches are purely descriptive, and provide no further detailed mechanistic insight into miRNA-mediated gene regulation and other functions. To better understand the function and regulatory mechanisms of plant miRNAs, more strategies need to be employed to investigate the functions of miRNAs and their associated signaling pathways and gene networks. Elucidating the evolutionary mechanism of miRNAs is also important. It is possible to develop a novel miRNA-based biotechnology for improving plant yield, quality and tolerance to environmental biotic and abiotic stresses besides focusing on basic genetic studies.


Related Articles

  • Conservation and divergence in plant microRNAs. Jones-Rhoades, Matthew // Plant Molecular Biology;Sep2012, Vol. 80 Issue 1, p3 

    MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are a class of small, non-coding RNAs that regulate gene expression in eukaryotic cells. The past decade has seen an explosion in our understanding of the sets of miRNA genes encoded in the genomes in different species of plants and the mechanisms by which miRNAs interact with...

  • Plant microRNAs: Recent Advances and Future Challenges. Debat, Humberto; Ducasse, Daniel // Plant Molecular Biology Reporter;Dec2014, Vol. 32 Issue 6, p1257 

    MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are small ∼20-24 nt species of non-coding RNAs that modulate plant gene expression by means of gene silencing through sequence-specific inhibition of target mRNAs. MiRNAs derive from pol-II transcription of non-coding genes that are precisely processed in nuclear Dicing...

  • Global identification of miRNAs and targets in Populus euphratica under salt stress. Li, Bosheng; Duan, Hui; Li, Jigang; Deng, Xing; Yin, Weilun; Xia, Xinli // Plant Molecular Biology;Apr2013, Vol. 81 Issue 6, p525 

    Populus euphratica, a typical hydro-halophyte, is ideal for studying salt stress responses in woody plants. MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are endogenous non-coding small RNAs that fulfilled an important post-transcriptional regulatory function. MiRNA may regulate tolerance to salt stress but this has not...

  • Biogenesis, evolution, and functions of plant microRNAs. Pashkovskiy, P.; Ryazansky, S. // Biochemistry (00062979);Jun2013, Vol. 78 Issue 6, p627 

    This review focuses on the biological role of one class of plant small RNAs, ∼22-nt microRNAs (miRNAs). The majority of plant miRNA targets are genes encoding the effector factors of cell signaling pathways. The regulation of their expression is necessary for both ontogenesis and rapid...

  • Characterization and expression patterns of small RNAs in synthesized Brassica hexaploids. Shen, Yanyue; Zhao, Qin; Zou, Jun; Wang, Wenliang; Gao, Yi; Meng, Jinling; Wang, Jianbo // Plant Molecular Biology;Jun2014, Vol. 85 Issue 3, p287 

    Polyploidy has played an important role in promoting plant evolution through genomic merging and doubling. We used high-throughput sequencing to compare miRNA expression profiles between Brassica hexaploid and its parents. A total of 613, 784 and 742 known miRNAs were identified in Brassica...

  • Transposable elements, mRNA expression level and strand-specificity of small RNAs are associated with non-additive inheritance of gene expression in hybrid plants. Qing Li; Ying Li; Moose, Stephen P.; Hudson, Matthew E. // BMC Plant Biology;Jul2015, Vol. 15 Issue 1, p1 

    Background: Gene expression inheritance patterns in Arabidopsis hybrid plants were investigated for correlation with the presence of transposable elements (TEs) and small RNA profile. Results: The presence of TEs in a gene and the expression of small RNA matching a gene were both found to be...

  • Identification and Comparative Analysis of the Tegillarca granosa Haemocytes MicroRNA Transcriptome in Response to Cd Using a Deep Sequencing Approach. Bao, Yongbo; Zhang, Lili; Dong, Yinghui; Lin, Zhihua // PLoS ONE;Apr2014, Vol. 9 Issue 4, p1 

    Background: MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are endogenous non-coding small RNAs (sRNAs) that can base pair with their target mRNAs, which represses their translation or induces their degradation in various biological processes. To identify miRNAs regulated by heavy metal stress, we constructed two sRNA...

  • Genome-Wide Identification of Embryogenesis-Associated microRNAs in Radish ( Raphanus sativus L.) by High-Throughput Sequencing. Zhai, Lulu; Xu, Liang; Wang, Yan; Huang, Danqiong; Yu, Rugang; Limera, Cecilia; Gong, Yiqin; Liu, Liwang // Plant Molecular Biology Reporter;Aug2014, Vol. 32 Issue 4, p900 

    microRNAs (miRNAs), endogenous non-coding RNAs of approximately 21-24 nucleotides, are important regulators of transcriptional and post-transcriptional gene expression. These regulators play a key role during plant growth and development, including embryogenesis, which is crucial to the life...

  • Overexpression of a Xylanase Inhibitor Gene, OsHI-XIP, Enhances Resistance in Rice to Herbivores. Xin, Zhaojun; Wang, Qi; Yu, Zhaonan; Hu, Liucheng; Li, Jiancai; Xiang, Caiyu; Wang, Baohui; Lou, Yonggen // Plant Molecular Biology Reporter;Apr2014, Vol. 32 Issue 2, p465 

    Xylanase inhibitors have been reported to play an important role in plant defense against fungal pathogens. However, little to nothing is known about their role in defense against herbivores. Here, we cloned a rice xylanase-inhibiting protein (XIP)-type gene OsHI-XIP whose encoding protein is...


Read the Article


Sorry, but this item is not currently available from your library.

Try another library?
Sign out of this library

Other Topics