The current global population of 7.3 billion is estimated to reach 9.7 billion in the year 2050. Rapid population growth is driving up global food demand. Additionally, global climate change, environmental degradation, drought, emerging diseases, and salty soils are the current threats to global food security. In order to mitigate the adverse effects of these diverse agricultural productivity constraints and enhance crop yield and stress-tolerance in plants, we need to go beyond traditional and molecular plant breeding. The powerful new tools for genome editing, Transcription Activator-Like Effector Nucleases (TALENs) and Clustered Regulatory Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats (CRISPR)/Cas systems (CRISPR-Cas9), have been hailed as a quantum leap forward in the development of stress-resistant plants. Plant breeding techniques, however, have several drawbacks. Hence, identification of transcriptional regulatory elements and deciphering mechanisms underlying transcriptional regulation are crucial to avoiding unintended consequences in modified crop plants, which could ultimately have negative impacts on human health. RNA splicing as an essential regulated post-transcriptional process, alternative polyadenylation as an RNA-processing mechanism, along with non-coding RNAs (microRNAs, small interfering RNAs and long non-coding RNAs) have been identified as major players in gene regulation. In this chapter, we highlight new findings on the essential roles of alternative splicing and alternative polyadenylation in plant development and response to biotic and abiotic stresses. We also discuss biogenesis and the functions of microRNAs (miRNAs) and small interfering RNAs (siRNAs) in plants and recent advances in our knowledge of the roles of miRNAs and siRNAs in plant stress response.
Nejat, N., Ramalingam, A., & Mantri, N. (2018). Advances in transcriptomics of plants. In Advances in Biochemical Engineering/Biotechnology (Vol. 164, pp. 161–185). Springer Science and Business Media Deutschland GmbH. https://doi.org/10.1007/10_2017_52