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PLoS Biol. 2008 Sep 23;6(9):e230. doi: 10.1371/journal.pbio.0060230.

Control of jasmonate biosynthesis and senescence by miR319 targets.

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Department of Molecular Biology, Max Planck Institute for Developmental Biology, Tübingen, Germany.


Considerable progress has been made in identifying the targets of plant microRNAs, many of which regulate the stability or translation of mRNAs that encode transcription factors involved in development. In most cases, it is unknown, however, which immediate transcriptional targets mediate downstream effects of the microRNA-regulated transcription factors. We identified a new process controlled by the miR319-regulated clade of TCP (TEOSINTE BRANCHED/CYCLOIDEA/PCF) transcription factor genes. In contrast to other miRNA targets, several of which modulate hormone responses, TCPs control biosynthesis of the hormone jasmonic acid. Furthermore, we demonstrate a previously unrecognized effect of TCPs on leaf senescence, a process in which jasmonic acid has been proposed to be a critical regulator. We propose that miR319-controlled TCP transcription factors coordinate two sequential processes in leaf development: leaf growth, which they negatively regulate, and leaf senescence, which they positively regulate.

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