mRNA uridylation prevents the production of deleterious siRNAs

Plants can fight viruses by synthesizing small interfering RNAs (siRNAs) that target and destroy viral RNAs. Yet, plants’ own messenger RNAs (mRNAs) must evade this defense mechanism. In a study published in Nature Communications, the team led by Dominique Gagliardi has shown that uridylation prevents mRNAs from becoming a source of illegitimate siRNAs, that are deleterious for plant development and survival.

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