R gene-miRNA-phasiRNA regulatory module (Nature Comms)

In plants, like people, having an overactive immune response is just as bad as having an underactive one. R genes in plants are key immune components that need to be kept quiet until needed. Previous studies have shown that miRNAs are involved in suppressing R gene expression, in a process that is amplified by phased siRNAs (phasiRNAs). Cai et al. identified a mechanism by which this suppression system is reversed by an active R gene product, SNC1, which represses the expression of miRNAs and phasiRNAs, thus releasing R genes from suppression. The authors summarize, “Taken together, this study suggests an R gene-miRNA-phasiRNA regulatory module that amplifies plant immune responses.” (Summary by Mary Williams) Nature Comms. 10.1038/s41467-018-07516-z