High-throughput sequencing has revealed that the majority of RNAs have no capacity to encode protein. Among these non-coding transcripts, recent work has focused on the roles of long noncoding RNAs (lncRNAs) of >200 nucleotides. Although many of their attributes, such as patterns of expression, remain largely unknown, lncRNAs have key functions in transcriptional, post-transcriptional, and epigenetic gene regulation; Also, new work indicates their functions in scaffolding ribonuclear protein complexes. In plants, genome-wide identification of lncRNAs has been conducted in several species, including Zea mays
, and recent research showed that lncRNAs regulate flowering time in the photoperiod pathway, and function in nodulation. In this review, we discuss the basic mechanisms by which lncRNAs regulate key cellular processes, using the large body of knowledge on animal and yeast lncRNAs to illustrate the significance of emerging work on lncRNAs in plants.
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License
which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited