Orthologous plant microRNAs: microregulators with great potential for improving stress tolerance in plants

Theor Appl Genet. 2014 Dec;127(12):2525-43. doi: 10.1007/s00122-014-2391-y. Epub 2014 Sep 26.


Small RNAs that are highly conserved across many plant species are involved in stress responses. Plants are exposed to many types of unfavorable conditions during their life cycle that result in some degree of stress. Recent studies on microRNAs (miRNAs) have highlighted their great potential as regulators of stress tolerance in plants. One of the possible ways in which plants counter environmental stresses is by altering their gene expression by the action of miRNAs. miRNAs regulate the expression of target genes by hybridizing to their nascent reverse complementary sequences marking them for cleavage in the nucleus or translational repression in the cytoplasm. Some miRNAs have been reported to be key regulators in biotic as well as abiotic stress responses across many species. The present review highlights some of the regulatory roles of orthologous plant miRNAs in response to various types of stress conditions.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Gene Expression Regulation, Plant
  • MicroRNAs / genetics*
  • Plant Physiological Phenomena / genetics*
  • Plants / genetics
  • RNA, Plant / genetics*
  • Stress, Physiological*


  • MicroRNAs
  • RNA, Plant