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Dev Biol. 2013 Aug 15;380(2):133-44. doi: 10.1016/j.ydbio.2013.05.009. Epub 2013 May 21.

Evolutionary conservation of microRNA regulatory programs in plant flower development.

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Key Laboratory of Tropical Forest Ecology, Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Menglun, Mengla, Yunnan 666303, China.


MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are post-transcriptional regulators of growth and development in both plants and animals. Flowering is critical for the reproduction of angiosperms. Flower development entails the transition from vegetative growth to reproductive growth, floral organ initiation, and the development of floral organs. These developmental processes are genetically regulated by miRNAs, which participate in complex genetic networks of flower development. A survey of the literature shows that miRNAs, their specific targets, and the regulatory programs in which they participate are conserved throughout the plant kingdom. This review summarizes the role of miRNAs and their targets in the regulation of gene expression during the floral developmental phase, which includes the floral transition stage, followed by floral patterning, and then the development of floral organs. The conservation patterns observed in each component of the miRNA regulatory system suggest that these miRNAs play important roles in the evolution of flower development.


Evolutionary conservation; Floral patterning; Floral transition; Flowering regulation; MicroRNA; The development of floral organs

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