To bloom or not to bloom: Role of micrornas in plant flowering

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© 2015 The Author. During the course of their life cycles, plants undergo various morphological and physiological changes underlying juvenile-to-adult and adult-to-flowering phase transitions. To flower or not to flower is a key step of plasticity of a plant toward the start of its new life cycle. In addition to the previously revealed intrinsic genetic programs, exogenous cues, and endogenous cues, a class of small non-coding RNAs, microRNAs (miRNAs), plays a key role in plants making the decision to flower by integrating into the known flowering pathways. This review highlights the age-dependent flowering pathway with a focus on a number of timing miRNAs in determining such a key process. The contributions of other miRNAs which exist mainly outside the age pathway are also discussed. Approaches to study the flowering-determining miRNAs, their interactions, and applications are presented.

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Molecular Plant