Small RNAs: Big Impact on Plant Development

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


While the role of proteins in determining cell identity has been extensively studied, the contribution of small noncoding RNA molecules such as miRNAs and siRNAs has been also recognised. miRNAs bind to complementary sites in target mRNA molecules to trigger the degradation or translational inhibition of those targets. Recent studies have revealed that miRNAs play pivotal roles in key developmental processes such as patterning of the embryo, meristem, leaf, and flower. Furthermore, these miRNAs have been recruited throughout plant evolution into pathways that create diverse plant organ forms and shapes. This review focuses on the roles of miRNAs in establishing plant cell identity during key plant development processes and creating morphological diversity during plant evolution.
Original languageEnglish
JournalTrends in Plant Science
Early online date12 Oct 2017
Publication statusPublished - 2017


  • Small RNA
  • Plant development
  • meristem patterning
  • flower induction
  • flower patterning
  • leaf development


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