The discovery of microRNAs (miRNAs) as gene regulators has led to a paradigm shift in the understanding of post-transcriptional gene regulation in plants and animals. miRNAs have emerged as master regulators of plant growth and development. Evidence suggesting that miRNAs play a role in plant stress responses arises from the discovery that miR398 targets genes with known roles in stress tolerance. In addition, the expression profiles of most miRNAs that are implicated in plant growth and development are significantly altered during stress. These later findings imply that attenuated plant growth and development under stress may be under the control of stress-responsive miRNAs. Here we review recent progress in the understanding of miRNA-mediated plant stress tolerance.
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