Plant Long ncRNAs: A New Frontier for Gene Regulatory Control


Long non-coding RNA (lncRNA) refers to an over 200 nt functional RNA molecule that will not be translated into protein. Previously thought to be dark matters of the genome, lncRNAs have been gradually recognized as crucial gene regulators. Although tremendous progress has been made in animals and human, the study of lncRNAs in plant is still in its infancy. Here, we reviewed the biogenesis and regulation mechanisms of lncRNAs and summarized the achievements that have been made in plant lncRNA identification and functional characterization. Genome-wide identification has uncovered large amount of lncRNAs in Arabidopsis, Rice, Maize and Wheat, and more information from other plant species will be expected with the aid of deep sequencing technologies. Similar to other species, LncRNA-mediated gene regulation also widely exists in plants, even though only a few functionally characterized examples are available. Up to now, at least four divergent lncRNA-mediated regulation mechanisms have been unraveled, including target mimicry, transcription interference, PRC2 associated histone methylation and DNA methylation. lncRNAs may be involved in the regulation of flowering, male sterility, nutrition metabolism, biotic and abiotic stress response in plants.

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J. Zhang, H. Mujahid, Y. Hou, B. Nallamilli and Z. Peng, "Plant Long ncRNAs: A New Frontier for Gene Regulatory Control," American Journal of Plant Sciences, Vol. 4 No. 5, 2013, pp. 1038-1045. doi: 10.4236/ajps.2013.45128.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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