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Journal Article

microRNAs: Key Players in Plant Response to Metal Toxicity


Chen,  H
Research Group Cell Biology, Max Planck Institute for Biology Tübingen, Max Planck Society;

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Yang, Y., Huang, J., Sun, Q., Wang, J., Huang, L., Fu, S., et al. (2022). microRNAs: Key Players in Plant Response to Metal Toxicity. International Journal of Molecular Sciences, 23(15): 8642. doi:10.3390/ijms23158642.

Cite as: https://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-000A-D8C5-4
Environmental metal pollution is a common problem threatening sustainable and safe crop production. Heavy metals (HMs) cause toxicity by targeting key molecules and life processes in plant cells. Plants counteract excess metals in the environment by enhancing defense responses, such as metal chelation, isolation to vacuoles, regulating metal intake through transporters, and strengthening antioxidant mechanisms. In recent years, microRNAs (miRNAs), as a small non-coding RNA, have become the central regulator of a variety of abiotic stresses, including HMs. With the introduction of the latest technologies such as next-generation sequencing (NGS), more and more miRNAs have been widely recognized in several plants due to their diverse roles. Metal-regulated miRNAs and their target genes are part of a complex regulatory network. Known miRNAs coordinate plant responses to metal stress through antioxidant functions, root growth, hormone signals, transcription factors (TF), and metal transporters. This article reviews the research progress of miRNAs in the stress response of plants to the accumulation of HMs, such as Cu, Cd, Hg, Cr, and Al, and the toxicity of heavy metal ions.