Translation in plants--rules and exceptions

Plant Mol Biol. 1996 Oct;32(1-2):159-89. doi: 10.1007/BF00039382.


Translation processes in plants are very similar to those in other eukaryotic organisms and can in general be explained with the scanning model. Particularly among plant viruses, unconventional mRNAs are frequent, which use modulated translation processes for their expression: leaky scanning, translational stop codon readthrough or frameshifting, and transactivation by virus-encoded proteins are used to translate polycistronic mRNAs; leader and trailer sequences confer (cap-independent) efficient ribosome binding, usually in an end-dependent mechanism, but true internal ribosome entry may occur as well; in a ribosome shunt, sequences within an RNA can be bypassed by scanning ribosomes. Translation in plant cells is regulated under conditions of stress and during development, but the underlying molecular mechanisms have not yet been determined. Only a small number of plant mRNAs, whose structure suggests that they might require some unusual translation mechanisms, have been described.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Plants / genetics*
  • Protein Biosynthesis*
  • RNA, Messenger / genetics


  • RNA, Messenger