MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are post-transcriptional regulators of growth and development in both plants and animals. In plants, roots play essential roles in their anchorage to the soil as well as in nutrient and water uptake. In this review, we present recent advances made in the identification of miRNAs involved in embryonic root development, radial patterning, vascular tissue differentiation and formation of lateral organs (i.e., lateral and adventitious roots and symbiotic nitrogen-fixing nodules in legumes). Certain mi/siRNAs target members of the Auxin Response Factors family involved in auxin homeostasis and signalling and participate in complex regulatory loops at several crucial stages of root development. Other miRNAs target and restrict the action of various transcription factors that control root-related processes in several species. Finally, because abiotic stresses, which include nutrient or water deficiencies, generally modulate root growth and branching, we summarise the action of certain miRNAs in response to these stresses that may be involved in the adaptation of the root system architecture to the soil environment.
Plant Molecular Biology – Springer Journals
Published: May 24, 2011
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