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Physiol Plant. 2011 Sep;143(1):1-9. doi: 10.1111/j.1399-3054.2011.01477.x. Epub 2011 May 19.

MiR398 and plant stress responses.

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Zhejiang Provincial Key Laboratory of Biometrology and Inspection and Quarantine, College of Life Sciences, China.


Because of their sessile nature, plants are constantly exposed to a multitude of abiotic and biotic stresses. Great progress has been made in elucidating the complex stress response mechanisms in plants. MicroRNAs (miRNAs), recently recognized as important regulators of gene expression at the posttranscriptional level, have been found to be involved in plant stress responses. Most plant miRNAs usually mediate cleavage of their target mRNAs. The observation that some miRNAs are up- or downregulated in response to stress implies that miRNAs play vital roles in plant resistance to abiotic and biotic stresses. Manipulation of miRNA-guided gene regulation may represent a new way to engineer plants with improved stress tolerance. Among stress-responsive miRNAs, miRNA398 (miR398) is a miRNA proposed to be directly linked to the plant stress regulatory network and regulates plant responses to oxidative stress, water deficit, salt stress, abscisic acid stress, ultraviolet stress, copper and phosphate deficiency, high sucrose and bacterial infection. This review highlights recent progress in understanding the crucial role of miR398 in plant stress responses, and also includes a discussion of miR398-centered gene regulatory network.

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