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Trends Plant Sci. 2005 Jul;10(7):347-53.

Plant gene expression in the age of systems biology: integrating transcriptional and post-transcriptional events.

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Department of Biological Sciences, State University of New York at Albany, 1400 Washington Ave, Albany, NY 12222, USA.


The extensive mechanistic and regulatory interconnections between the various events of mRNA biogenesis are now recognized as a fundamental principle of eukaryotic gene expression, yet the specific details of the coupling between the various steps of mRNA biogenesis do differ, and sometimes dramatically, between the different kingdoms. In this review, we emphasize examples where plants must differ in this respect from other eukaryotes, and highlight a recurring trend of recruiting the conserved, versatile functional modules, which have evolved to support the general mRNA biogenesis reactions, for plant-specific functions. We also argue that elucidating the inner workings of the plant 'mRNA factory' is essential for accomplishing the ambitious goal of building the 'virtual plant'.

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