Note to users. If you're seeing this message, it means that your browser cannot find this page's style/presentation instructions -- or possibly that you are using a browser that does not support current Web standards. Find out more about why this message is appearing, and what you can do to make your experience of our site the best it can be.


Logo for

Science 328 (5980): 834-835

Copyright © 2010 by the American Association for the Advancement of Science

Molecular Biology

Small RNA Makes Its Move

Rob Martienssen

It has been known for almost 100 years that when a plant virus infects a leaf, mobile signals are transmitted through vessels in the stem to other leaves to confer resistance to subsequent infection. More recently, the silencing of exogenous transgenes has been shown to involve a mobile signal (1). Although RNA molecules have been implicated in systemic plant cell-to-cell communication, the nature of mobile RNA that silences gene expression has not been clear (2). Now, four studies—including those by Molnar et al. (3) and Dunoyer et al. (4) on pages 872 and 912 of this issue—report that small interfering RNA (siRNA) and microRNA (miRNA) are mobile signals that control gene expression during plant development.

Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, Cold Spring Harbor NY 11724, USA.

E-mail: martiens{at}

Germline Reprogramming of Heterochromatin in Plants.
K. M. Creasey and R. A. Martienssen (2011)
Cold Spring Harb Symp Quant Biol
   Abstract »    PDF »
MicroRNA activity in the Arabidopsis male germline.
F. Borges, P. A. Pereira, R. K. Slotkin, R. A. Martienssen, and J. D. Becker (2011)
J. Exp. Bot. 62, 1611-1620
   Abstract »    Full Text »    PDF »

To Advertise     Find Products

Science Signaling. ISSN 1937-9145 (online), 1945-0877 (print). Pre-2008: Science's STKE. ISSN 1525-8882