J Integr Plant Biol. ›› 2007, Vol. 49 ›› Issue (6): 817-826.DOI: 10.1111/j.1744-7909.2007.00499.x

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Micro RNAs and Short-interfering RNAs in Plants

Ramanjulu Sunkar and Jian-Kang Zhu   

  • Published:2007-06-05


Gene silencing can occur either at the transcriptional level or post-transcriptional level or both. Many instances of sequence-specific silencing requires small RNAs that can be divided into two major classes: microRNAs (miRNAs) and short-interfering RNAs (siRNAs). miRNAs function in post-transcriptional gene silencing by guiding mRNA degradation or translational repression. Endogenous siRNAs are more diverse in plants than in animals and can direct post-transcriptional gene silencing through mRNA degradation or transcriptional gene silencing by triggering DNA methylation and histone modifications. This review discusses recent advances in the field of small RNA-guided gene silencing in plants including rice.

Key words: gene silencing, microRNAs, short-interfering RNAs, plants.

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