The various classes of small non-coding RNAs are a fundamentally important component of the transcriptome. These molecules have roles in many essential processes such as regulation of gene expression at the transcriptional and post-transcriptional levels, guidance of DNA methylation and defence against selfish replicators such as transposons. Their diversity and functions in the sporophytic generation of angiosperms is well explored compared with the gametophytic generation, where little is known about them. Recent progress in understanding their abundance, diversity and function in the gametophyte is reviewed.
© The Authors Journal compilation © 2010 Biochemical Society