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Trends Plant Sci. 2011 May;16(5):258-64. doi: 10.1016/j.tplants.2011.03.001. Epub 2011 Apr 4.

MicroRNA networks and developmental plasticity in plants.

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Department of Molecular Biology, Max Planck Institute for Developmental Biology, Spemannstrasse 37-39, 72076 Tübingen, Germany.


Plant microRNAs (miRNAs) are embedded in regulatory networks that coordinate different gene expression programs in support of developmental plasticity. Modification of miRNA-target nodes during evolution might in turn underlie morphological and physiological diversity. A survey of the literature indicates that miRNA-target nodes themselves are organized in networks, and here we discuss some of the developmental traits they control along with possible interactions between miRNA and their targets. Because miRNAs and their interactions are not only at the heart of regulating many aspects of developmental plasticity, but because they also have an inherently quantitative mode of action, they present important targets for biotechnology applications.

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