The role of miRNAs in legumes with a focus on abiotic stress response
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Legumes are special group of N-fixing plants that are an essential component of cropping system and important source of food and feed for human and animal consumption. Like other crops, the productivity of legumes is threatened by environmental stresses caused due to global climate change. Abiotic stress tolerance is complex trait involving a suite of genes, the expression of which is controlled by transcription factors including gene and/or polypeptide sequences. Recently, micro-ribonucleic acids (miRNAs) have been increasingly recognized for their role in regulating the synthesis of polypeptides from different messenger ribonucleic acids (mRNAs) including those that act as transcription factors. This review summarizes the current knowledge on the role of different miRNAs in response to main abiotic stresses in legumes. We found consistent as well as conflicting results within and between different legume species. This highlights that we have barely scratched the surface and very comprehensive and targeted experiments will be required in future to underpin the role of miRNAs in controlling the expression of important genes associated with abiotic stress tolerances.
The Plant Genome
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