Abstract

Precursor RNAs undergo extensive processing to become mature RNAs. RNA transcripts are subjected to 5′ capping, 3′-end processing, splicing, and modification; they also form dynamic secondary structures during co-transcriptional and post-transcriptional processing. Like coding RNAs, non-coding RNAs (ncRNAs) undergo extensive processing. For example, secondary small interfering RNA (siRNA) transcripts undergo RNA processing, followed by further cleavage to become mature siRNAs. Transcriptome studies have revealed roles for co-transcriptional and post-transcriptional RNA processing in the regulation of gene expression and the coordination of plant development and plant–environment interactions. In this review, we present the latest progress on RNA processing in gene expression and discuss phased siRNAs (phasiRNAs), a kind of germ cell-specific secondary small RNA (sRNA), focusing on their functions in plant development and environmental responses.

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