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A gene regulatory network (GRN) describes the hierarchical relationship between transcription factors, associated proteins, and their target genes. Studying GRNs allows us to understand how a plant's genotype and environment are integrated to regulate downstream physiological responses. Current efforts in plants have focused on defining the GRNs that regulate functions such as development and stress response and have been performed primarily in genetically tractable model plant species such as Arabidopsis thaliana. Future studies will likely focus on how GRNs function in non-model plants and change over evolutionary time to allow for adaptation to extreme environments. This broader understanding will inform efforts to engineer GRNs to create tailored crop traits.
Sun, Y., & Dinneny, J. R. (2018, April 11). Q&A: How do gene regulatory networks control environmental responses in plants? BMC Biology. BioMed Central Ltd. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12915-018-0506-7