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Plant Cell Reports

, Volume 22, Issue 3, pp 167–174 | Cite as

Post-transcriptional gene silencing in plants by RNA

  • H. Yu
  • P. P. Kumar
Review

Abstract

RNA silencing, which is termed post-transcriptional gene silencing in plants, is an RNA degradation process through sequence-specific nucleotide interactions induced by double-stranded RNA. In plants, RNA silencing not only serves as a component of the defense mechanism, but also participates in the regulation of endogenous gene expression in a variety of developmental processes. This review elaborates the current progress on the understanding of the molecular basis of RNA silencing including a mechanistic link between the regulation of microRNA and RNA silencing. The practical use of RNA silencing as a reverse genetics approach in plant functional genomics is also discussed.

Keywords

Double-stranded RNA MicroRNA Plant functional genomics Post-transcriptional gene silencing RNA silencing 

Abbreviations

dsRNA

Double-stranded RNA

miRNA

MicroRNA

miRNP

MicroRNA-ribonucleoprotein complex

PAZ

'Piwi/Argonaute/Zwille'

PTGS

Post-transcriptional gene silencing

RDRP

RNA-dependent RNA polymerase

RNAi

RNA interference

RISC

RNA-induced silencing complex

siRNA

Short interfering RNA

stRNA

Short temporal RNA

TGB

Triple gene block

TGS

Transcriptional gene silencing

UTR

Untranslated region

Notes

Acknowledgements

We thank E. Haswell, T. Ito, J.A. Long, F. Wellmer, and Y. Zhao for critical reading of the manuscript. Our apologies to colleagues whose work could not be cited due to space constraints in this review. This work was partly supported by a research grant R-154-000-125-112 to P.P. Kumar and an overseas postdoctoral fellowship to H. Yu from National University of Singapore.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Biological Sciences, Faculty of ScienceNational University of SingaporeSingaporeSingapore
  2. 2.Division of Biology 156-29California Institute of TechnologyPasadenaUSA

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