About this Research Topic
Plant endogenous small RNAs (sRNAs), including microRNAs (miRNAs) and small interfering RNAs (siRNAs), are short regulatory noncoding RNAs that induce silencing of target genes at transcriptional and posttranscriptional levels. siRNAs can be further divided into trans-acting siRNAs (ta-siRNAs) or secondary phased siRNAs (phasiRNAs), natural antisense transcripts-derived siRNAs (nat-siRNAs), heterochromatic siRNAs (hc-siRNAs), and long siRNAs (lsiRNAs) based on their distinct biogenesis pathways. Plant sRNAs and pathway components including DCL (Dicer-like proteins), RDR (RNA-dependent RNA polymerases) and AGO (Argonaute) are currently a hot research topic in many fields of biology, which play significant regulatory roles in various developmental processes such as tissue patterning and lateral organ morphology. During microbial infection, plant sRNAs are also highly regulated and contribute to gene regulation and plant immunity. Most plant sRNAs function endogenously, while some can travel across organismal boundaries between plant and microbes, trigger gene silencing in trans in interacting organisms, a mechanism termed “Cross-Species/kingdom RNAi”.
So far, the study of sRNAs and RNAi machinery’s roles in plant biology has gained a lot of interest. However, the fundamental biology of this research field remains largely unclear. For example, during tissue patterning and organ morphogenesis the understanding of cis and trans elements that regulate sRNAs expression is lacking. We lack understanding of the sRNA cross-Species/kingdom trafficking, including the functions of sRNAs in recipient orgasms, and how they are selected for transport. Currently, the use of sRNAs for biotechnological applications is still limited.
This Research topic will cover promising, recent, and novel research trends in the plant sRNA field. Original research articles, review articles, and research letters are welcomed. Some Research Topic may include, but are not limited to:
• sRNAs and RNAi machinery in plant development
• Endogenous function of sRNAs in plant immune responses
• sRNAs in trans-kingdom cross-talk between plant and interacting microbial pathogens
• Application of sRNA-related pathway in crop variety improvement and plant protection
Keywords: Small RNAs, RNAi, development, immunity, Small RNA trafficking
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