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Post‐transcriptional regulation in root development

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Plants constantly adapt their root system to the changing environmental conditions. This developmental plasticity is underpinned by changes in the profile of the mRNA expressed. Here we review how post‐transcriptional modulation of gene expression control root development and growth. In particular we focus on the role of small RNA‐mediated post‐transcriptional regulation processes. Small RNAs play an important role in fine tuning gene expression during root formation and patterning, development of lateral organs and symbiosis, nutrient homeostasis, and other stress‐related responses. We also highlight the impact of alternative splicing on root development and the establishment of symbiotic structures as well as the emerging role of long noncoding RNAs in root physiology. WIREs RNA 2014, 5:679–696. doi: 10.1002/wrna.1239 This article is categorized under: Regulatory RNAs/RNAi/Riboswitches > Biogenesis of Effector Small RNAs RNA in Disease and Development > RNA in Development
Synthetic overview of miRNA‐mediated post‐transcriptional regulation in root adaptation to abiotic stresses. miRNAs are involved in the adaptation of roots to changes in nutrient abundance (downward pointing arrow indicating deficiency) and water deficit (drought). In each case, the implicated small RNA, their targets and the process they control are indicated in the colored boxes.
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Synthetic overview of small RNA‐mediated post‐transcriptional regulation in root growth. Small RNAs (miRNAs and tasiRNAs) are involved in root and symbiotic structure development. For each type of structures, the implicated small RNA, their targets, and the process they control are indicated in the colored boxes. Dashed lines indicate feedback interactions.
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Patterning of vasculature by a gradient of miR165/miR166. SHORTROOT (SHR) is a mobile transcription factor diffusing from the stele (pericycle and central cylinder) to the endodermis. In the endodermis it interacts with SCARECROW (SCR) to activate the transcription of miR165/miR166 precursors. In turn miR165/miR166 diffuse from the endodermis back to the stele. This results in the formation of a gradient of miR165/miR166 activity highest in the endodermis and lowest in the stele. This gradient regulates the level of the miR165/miR166‐target PHABULOSA (PHB) and determines xylem cell‐fate in a dose‐dependent manner.
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Longitudinal and radial organization of the Arabidopsis thaliana root. (a) Longitudinal organization of the Arabidopsis root system. The root system consists of a continuously growing embryo‐derived primary root and of postembryonically formed lateral organs arising from the primary root, lateral roots and hypocotyl‐borne adventitious roots. (b) Tissues in the primary root are organized in concentric cylinders. The dashed line on the longitudinal section (left) indicates the position of the transversal section (right). The different tissues are color‐coded as indicated.
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RNA in Disease and Development > RNA in Development
Regulatory RNAs/RNAi/Riboswitches > Biogenesis of Effector Small RNAs

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