Advances in identification and validation of plant microRNAs and their target genes
Korir, Nicholas Kibet
MetadataShow full item record
Developments in the field of molecular biology and genetics, such as microarray, gene transfer, and discovery of small regulatory RNAs, have led to significant advances in plant biotechnology. Among the small RNAs, microRNAs (miRNAs) have elicited much interest as key posttranscriptional regulators in eukaryotic gene expression. Advances in genome and transcriptome sequencing of plants have facilitated the generation of a huge wealth of sequence information that can find much use in the discovery of novel miRNAs and their target genes. In this review, we present an overview of the developments in the strategies and methods used to identify and study miRNAs, their target genes and the mechanisms by which these miRNAs interact with their target genes since the discovery of the first miRNA. The approaches discussed include both reverse and forward genetics. We observed that despite the availability of advanced methods, certain limitations ranging from the cost of materials, equipment, and personnel to the availability of genome sequences for many plant species present a number of challenges for the development and utilization of modern scientific methods for the elucidation and development of miRNAs in many important plant species.