The control of developmental phase transitions in plants

Development. 2011 Oct;138(19):4117-29. doi: 10.1242/dev.063511.


Plant development progresses through distinct phases: vegetative growth, followed by a reproductive phase and eventually seed set and senescence. The transitions between these phases are controlled by distinct genetic circuits that integrate endogenous and environmental cues. In recent years, however, it has become evident that the genetic networks that underlie these phase transitions share some common factors. Here, we review recent advances in the field of plant phase transitions, highlighting the role of two microRNAs - miR156 and miR172 - and their respective targets during these transitions. In addition, we discuss the evolutionary conservation of the functions of these miRNAs in regulating the control of plant developmental phase transitions.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Arabidopsis / genetics*
  • Developmental Biology / methods
  • Flowers
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Plant*
  • Genes, Plant
  • MicroRNAs / metabolism
  • Models, Biological
  • Models, Genetic
  • Plant Physiological Phenomena
  • Plants / embryology*
  • Plants / metabolism*
  • Pollen
  • Transcription Factors / metabolism


  • MicroRNAs
  • Mirn156 microRNA, Arabidopsis
  • Mirn172 microRNA, Arabidopsis
  • Transcription Factors