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Nucleic Acids Res. 2005 Jul 1;33(Web Server issue):W701-4.

miRU: an automated plant miRNA target prediction server.

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Plant Biology Division, The Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation, Ardmore, OK 73402, USA.


MicroRNAs (miRNAs) play important roles in gene expression regulation in animals and plants. Since plant miRNAs recognize their target mRNAs by near-perfect base pairing, computational sequence similarity search can be used to identify potential targets. A web-based integrated computing system, miRU, has been developed for plant miRNA target gene prediction in any plant, if a large number of sequences are available. Given a mature miRNA sequence from a plant species, the system thoroughly searches for potential complementary target sites with mismatches tolerable in miRNA-target recognition. True or false positives are estimated based on the number and type of mismatches in the target site, and on the evolutionary conservation of target complementarity in another genome which can be selected according to miRNA conservation. The output for predicted targets, ordered by mismatch scores, includes complementary sequences with mismatches highlighted in colors, original gene sequences and associated functional annotations. The miRU web server is available at

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