Small RNAs regulate plant responses to filamentous pathogens

Tung Kuan, Yi Zhai, Wenbo Ma

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


Small RNAs are central players of RNA silencing in eukaryotes. These short RNA molecules (20–25 nucleotides in length) repress target gene expression based on sequence complementarity. While small RNAs are well-known for their essential function in regulating growth and development, recent research has revealed that they also influence plant immunity. Extensive changes in small RNA accumulation have been observed during infection. This review focuses on specific small RNA changes that are involved in plant responses to filamentous eukaryotic pathogens including fungi and oomycetes. We describe how changes in small RNA accumulation influence plant immunity and summarize the cellular processes affected by these small RNAs. In particular, we discuss secondary small interfering RNAs that directly modulate the expression of defense-related genes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)190-200
Number of pages11
JournalSeminars in Cell and Developmental Biology
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2016


  • Plant filamentous pathogens
  • RNA silencing
  • RNA silencing suppressors
  • Small non-coding RNA

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