Deciphering the diversity of small RNAs in plants: The long and short of it

Frank Schwach*, Simon Moxon, Vincent Moulton, Tamas Dalmay

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Citations (Scopus)


RNA silencing is a complex and highly conserved regulatory mechanism that is now known to be involved in such diverse processes as development, pathogen control, genome maintenance and response to environmental changes. Since its recent discovery, RNA silencing has become a fast moving key area of research in plant and animal molecular biology. Research in this field has greatly profited from recent developments in novel sequencing technologies that allow massive parallel sequencing of small RNA (sRNA) molecules, the key players of all RNA silencing phenomena. As researchers are beginning to decipher the complexity of RNA silencing, novel methodologies have to be developed to make sense of the large amounts of data that are currently being generated. In this review we present an overview of RNA silencing pathways in plants and the current challenges in analysing sRNA data, with a special focus on computational approaches.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberelp024
Pages (from-to)472-481
Number of pages10
JournalBriefings in Functional Genomics and Proteomics
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 27 Aug 2009


  • Bioinformatics
  • High-throughput sequencing
  • Plant molecular biology
  • RNA silencing


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