Recent Posts

A robust mechanism for resetting juvenility during each generation in Arabidopsis (Nature Plants)

Proper development requires an aging program that is regulated throughout the entire lifespan of an organism as well as across generations. In plants, reproductive cells are derived from differentiated cells, and thus the aging program encoded in these reproductive cells must be rejuvenated per generation.…

The miRNome function transitions from regulating developmental genes to transposable elements during pollen maturation (Plant Cell)

Genes (protein-coding or noncoding) and transposable elements (TEs) are the main characters in the genomic landscape, but there are few reported systems where we have seen all acting together to produce a phenotype. Oliver and collaborators analyzed miRNA populations during pollen maturation in an outstanding…

Exogenous miRNAs induce post-transcriptional gene silencing in plants (Nature Plants)

Small RNAs (sRNAs) are 21- to 24-nucleotide non-coding RNAs that induce gene silencing by targeting specific mRNAs for degradation. They regulate a plethora of developmental and physiological processes. Based on their biogenesis they are classified into two groups: micro-RNAs (miRNAs) and siRNAs. Within…

Review. Message in a Bubble: Shuttling small RNAs and proteins between cells and interacting organisms using extracellular vesicles (Annu. Rev. Plant Biol.)

Small RNAs have big effects and can serve to shut down or silence gene expression. Recently, studies have found that small RNAs can contribute to plant defense beyond the boundary of the plant, by being packed into extracellular vesicles (EVs) and delivered to a pathogen. Cai et al. review our current…

The Apple miR171i and its target SCL26.1 enhance drought tolerance (Plant Physiol.)

Drought is one of the most important abiotic factors affecting plant growth and development. MicroRNAs are a class of small nuclear RNAs (snRNAs) consisting of 21-24 nucleotides, that play critical roles in many biological processes by regulating target gene expression. Apple is one of the most economically…

Plant 22-nt siRNAs mediate translational repression and stress adaptation (Nature)

Among the myriad small interfering RNAs, 21- and 24-nucleotides siRNAs control plant development and immunity through mRNA cleavage and RNA-directed DNA methylation, respectively. Still, the regulation and biological function of 22-nt siRNAs remain unresolved. In this report, Wu and coworkers investigated…

Mystery of adventitious root formation in grapevine (Plant Physiol)

Grapevines (Vitis vinifera L.) are clonally propagated by stem cuttings, which depends on the formation of adventitious (stem-borne) roots. In this paper Chen at al., showed the function of microRNA encoded peptides (miPEPs) in adventitious root formation of cultured grape plantlets. MicroRNA biogenesis…

MicroRNAs and the control of stomatal development (PNAS)

Stomata mediate critical functions in plant life: gas exchange, water loss, and some environmental responses. At the molecular level, some bHLH transcription factors and a MAP-kinase pathway control a series of asymmetric and symmetric cell divisions of stomatal stem cells to form a guard cell. In…

Silencing Transposons is Important for Pollen Development in Capsella

Wang et al. reveal that viable pollen formation in Capsella requires the function of a DNA-dependent RNA polymerase. Plant Cell https://doi.org/10.1105/tpc.19.00938   Background: Transposons, or “jumping genes”, are kept silent by a plant-specific pathway that starts with DNA-dependent RNA…