5 years ago

Regulation of low temperature stress in plants by microRNAs

Urmila Basu, Swati Megha, Nat N.V. Kav
Low temperature is one of the most common environmental stresses that seriously affect the growth and development of plants. However, plants have the plasticity in their defence mechanisms enabling them to tolerate and, sometimes, even survive adverse environmental conditions. MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are small non-coding RNAs, approximately 18–24 nucleotides in length, and are being increasingly recognized as regulators of gene expression at the post-transcriptional level and have the ability to influence a broad range of biological processes. There is growing evidence in the literature that reprogramming of gene expression mediated through miRNAs is a major defence mechanism in plants enabling them to respond to stresses. To date, numerous studies have established the importance of miRNA-based regulation of gene expression under low temperature stress. Individual miRNAs can modulate the expression of multiple mRNA targets, and, therefore, the manipulation of a single miRNA has the potential to affect multiple biological processes. Numerous functional studies have attempted to identify the miRNA–target interactions and have elaborated the role of several miRNAs in cold-stress regulation. This review summarizes the current understanding of miRNA-mediated modulation of the expression of key genes as well as genetic and regulatory pathways, involved in low temperature stress responses in plants.

Publisher URL: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/resolve/doi

DOI: 10.1111/pce.12956

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