Small RNAs and cell cycle control in plants

Control of the cell cycle stages requires the dynamic accumulation of RNA and specific proteins. In mammals a class of small RNAs, microRNAs (miRNAs), participate in this control and some are involved in proliferative diseases such as cancer. The role of miRNAs in controlling cell proliferation is still poorly understood in plants. In Arabidopsis thaliana, the depletion of AGO1, the major effector of miRNAs, inhibits cell division in meristems. An overall analysis of the miRNAs and their cleavage products made it possible to understand the impact of this regulatory pathway in the expression of the 13,000 genes differentially expressed during the cell cycle in plants. This collaborative work from Pascal Genschik  and Blake Meyers (Donald Danforth Plant Science Center, USA) teams was published in The Plant Cell in June 2019.

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