Recently, a large population of mRNA was shown to be able to travel between plant organs via sieve elements as a putative long-distance signaling molecule. However, a mechanistic basis by which transcripts are selected for transport has not yet been identified. Here, we show that experimental mRNA mobility data in Arabidopsis can be explained by transcript abundance and half-life. This suggests that the majority of identified mobile transcripts can be accounted for by non-sequence-specific movement of mRNA from companion cells into sieve elements.
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