miRNAs in the plant genome: All things great and small

B. Meyers, P. Green, C. Lu

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Plants produce two major types of small RNAs that are 21 to 24 nucleotides in size. Small interfering RNAs (siRNAs) are typically involved in transcriptional gene silencing that results from the targeting of genomic DNA and triggering of histone modifications or DNA methylation. Deep sequencing experiments have demonstrated that thousands of loci, usually repetitive sequences, generate these siRNAs. In contrast, microRNAs (miRNAs) are encoded by perhaps just several hundred loci per genome that generate Pol II-derived single stranded precursors which are processed into specific miRNAs. miRNAs act in a post-transcriptional manner to regulate gene function. Recent work has focused on the identification and classification of small RNA-producing loci, as well as understanding small RNA targeting and function, and the evolution of this relatively recently discovered class of regulatory molecules.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationPlant Genomes
EditorsJean-Nicolas Volff
Number of pages11
StatePublished - 2008

Publication series

NameGenome Dynamics
ISSN (Print)1660-9263


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