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FEBS Lett. 2006 May 1;580(10):2442-50. Epub 2006 Apr 7.

The evolution and diversification of Dicers in plants.

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  • 1CSIRO Plant Industry, P.O. Box 1600, Canberra, ACT 2601, Australia.


Most multicellular organisms regulate developmental transitions by microRNAs, which are generated by an enzyme, Dicer. Insects and fungi have two Dicer-like genes, and many animals have only one, yet the plant, Arabidopsis, has four. Examining the poplar and rice genomes revealed that they contain five and six Dicer-like genes, respectively. Analysis of these genes suggests that plants require a basic set of four Dicer types which were present before the divergence of mono- and dicotyledonous plants ( approximately 200 million years ago), but after the divergence of plants from green algae. A fifth type of Dicer seems to have evolved in monocots.

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