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Trends Plant Sci. 2000 Apr;5(4):160-7.

Pre-mRNA splicing in higher plants.

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  • 1Friedrich Miescher Institute, Basel, Switzerland.


Most plant mRNAs are synthesized as precursors containing one or more intervening sequences (introns) that are removed during the process of splicing. The basic mechanism of spliceosome assembly and intron excision is similar in all eukaryotes. However, the recognition of introns in plants has some unique features, which distinguishes it from the reactions in vertebrates and yeast. Recent progress has occurred in characterizing the splicing signals in plant pre-mRNAs, in identifying the mutants affected in splicing and in discovering new examples of alternatively spliced mRNAs. In combination with information provided by the Arabidopsis genome-sequencing project, these studies are contributing to a better understanding of the splicing process and its role in the regulation of gene expression in plants.

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