J Integr Plant Biol.

• Invited Expert Reviews •    

Plant tRNA-derived fragments: biogenesis and functions

Xuan Ma1*, Chunyan Liu2, Xiaofeng Cao2,3,4*   

  1. 1 College of Life Sciences, Tianjin Key Laboratory of Animal and Plant Resistance, Tianjin Normal University, Tianjin 300387, China
    2 State Key Laboratory of Plant Genomics and National Center for Plant Gene Research, Institute of Genetics and Developmental Biology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100101, China
    3 CAS Center for Excellence in Molecular Plant Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100101, China
    4 University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China

    *Correspondences: Xuan Ma (skyxma@tjnu.edu.cn); Xiaofeng Cao (xfcao@genetics.ac.cn, Dr. Cao is responsible for the distribution of the materials associated with this article)
  • Received:2021-03-30 Accepted:2021-06-10 Online:2021-06-11

Abstract: Processing of mature tRNAs produces complex populations of tRNA-derived fragments (tRFs). Emerging evidence shows that tRFs have important functions in bacteria, animals, and plants. Here, we review recent advances in understanding plant tRFs, focusing on their biological and cellular functions, such as regulating stress responses, mediating plant–pathogen interactions, and modulating posttranscriptional gene silencing and translation. We also review sequencing strategies and bioinformatics resources for studying tRFs in plants. Finally, we discuss future directions for plant tRF research, which will expand our knowledge of plant non-coding RNAs.

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