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Curr Opin Plant Biol. 2009 Oct;12(5):622-7. doi: 10.1016/j.pbi.2009.07.003. Epub 2009 Aug 19.

Regulation and functional specialization of small RNA-target nodes during plant development.

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Department of Molecular Biology, Max Planck Institute for Developmental Biology, D-72076 Tuebingen, Germany.


The expansion of gene families for miRNA and tasiRNA, small RNA effector proteins (ARGONAUTEs or AGOs), and miRNA/tasiRNA targets has contributed to regulatory diversity in plants. Loss or acquisition of small RNA-generating loci and target site sequences in multigene families represent striking examples of subfunctionalization or neo-functionalization, where regulatory diversity is achieved at the post-transcriptional level. Differential regulation of small RNA and target gene family members, and evolution of unique functionality of distinct small RNA-AGO complexes, provide further regulatory diversity. Here, we focus on the idea of distinct small RNA-target transcript pairs as nodes within biological networks, and review progress toward understanding the role of small RNA-target nodes in the context of auxin signaling.

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