Recent Posts

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…

Review. Small RNAs and extracellular vesicles: New mechanisms of cross-species communication and innovative tools for disease control (PLOS Pathogens)

We have only recently begun to appreciate the phenomenon of cross-species or cross-kingdom small RNA transfer, and its applications. Using examples from plants and animals, Cai et al. summarize how some pathogens have evolved the capacity to introduce small RNAs into their host to suppress host defense…

Reprogramming of root cells during nitrogen-fixing symbiosis involves dynamic polysome association of coding and non-coding RNAs (Plant Cell)

Knowing RNA abundance is nice, but in most cases protein abundance is more biologically interesting. Traubenik et al. used TRAP  (Translating  Ribosome  Affinity  Purification) to examine efficiency of translation and contributions of non-coding and alternatively spliced RNAs during the establishment…

Next-Gen sequence databases: RNA and genomic informatics resources for plants (Plant Physiol)

Drawing on more than 15 years of improvements, Nakano et al. have released public websites and resources for data access, display, and analysis of plant small RNAs, from Arabidopsis to wheat and with many crops and model species represented. The tools can analyze, integrate and display the abundance…

Early origin of miRNA-SPL module in reproductive development revealed by liverwort (Curr. Biol)

In Arabidopsis and other angiosperms, transition to flowering is controlled by a regulatory module that includes transcription factors from the SPL family and a miRNA miR156 targeting them. Marchantia and bryophytes do not make flowers, but there is an equivalent module that includes miR529c and a single…

Update. GMO-free RNAi: exogenous application of RNA molecules in plants (Plant Physiol)

Criticism of transgenic plants and GMOs motivates research into effective GMO-free RNA delivery methods. In this review, Dalakouras et al. discuss different strategies for exogenous application of RNA molecules (dsRNAs, siRNAs) into plants to trigger RNA interference (RNAi) against various targets, such…

Cell cycle dependent regulation and function of ARGONAUTE1 in plants (Plant Cell) ($)

Regulation of gene expression at transcriptional, translational and post-translation levels is crucial for proper plant growth. Post-transcriptional gene regulation by small RNAs like microRNA (miRNA), siRNA and phasi-RNAs is necessary for meristem maintenance in plants. Unlike in the mammalian system,…

Review: MicroRNAs and their regulatory roles in plant–environment interactions (Annu Rev Plant Bio) ($)

MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are endogenous small noncoding RNAs that negatively regulate the expression of target genes through mRNA cleavage, translational repression and DNA methylation. The last decade has seen an exponential increase in the studies performed to understand the biogenesis of plant miRNAs, their…