Recent work has resulted in the identification of >100 endogenous non-coding small RNA molecules in plants. These micro-RNAs (miRNAs) have the capacity to regulate a range of predicted target mRNAs, many of which are transcription factors involved in the control of meristem identity. Mutants defective in either CARPEL FACTORY or Hen1 fail to accumulate miRNAs and have severe developmental defects. Thus, miRNAs are implicated as potentially key regulatory molecules in plant development.
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