The Diversity of Plant Small RNAs Silencing Mechanisms

Chimia (Aarau). 2019 May 29;73(6):362-367. doi: 10.2533/chimia.2019.362.


Small RNAs gene regulation was first discovered about 20 years ago. It represents a conserve gene regulation mechanism across eukaryotes and is associated to key regulatory processes. In plants, small RNAs tightly regulate development, but also maintain genome stability and protect the plant against pathogens. Small RNA gene regulation in plants can be divided in two canonical pathways: Post-transcriptional Gene Silencing (PTGS) that results in transcript degradation and/or translational inhibition or Transcriptional Gene Silencing (TGS) that results in DNA methylation. In this review, we will focus on the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana. We will provide a brief overview of the molecular mechanisms involved in canonical small RNA pathways as well as introducing more atypical pathways recently discovered.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • DNA Methylation*
  • Gene Silencing*
  • Plants / genetics*
  • RNA, Plant


  • RNA, Plant