Science China Life Sciences

, Volume 61, Issue 2, pp 148–154 | Cite as

Grass phasiRNAs and male fertility

  • Yang Yu
  • Yanfei Zhou
  • Yuchan Zhang
  • Yueqin Chen


Recent studies have indicated that a special type of small noncoding RNAs, phased small-interfering RNAs (phasiRNAs) play crucial roles in many cellular processes of plant development. PhasiRNAs are generated from long RNA precursors at intervals of 21 or 24 nt in plants, and they are produced from both protein-coding gene and long noncoding RNA genes. Different from those in eudicots, grass phasiRNAs include a special class of small RNAs that are specifically expressed in reproductive organs. These grass phasiRNAs are associated with gametogenesis, especially with anther development and male fertility. In this review, we summarized current knowledge on these small noncoding RNAs in male germ cells and their possible biological functions and mechanisms in grass species.


noncoding RNA phasiRNA crop fertility 


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This work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (91640202, 91335104) and the grants from Guangdong Province (2016A030308015) and Guangzhou (201707020018, 201710010029).


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Copyright information

© Science China Press and Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yang Yu
    • 1
  • Yanfei Zhou
    • 1
  • Yuchan Zhang
    • 1
  • Yueqin Chen
    • 1
  1. 1.Guangdong Provincial Key Laboratory of Plant Resources, State Key Laboratory for Biocontrol, School of Life SciencesSun Yat-sen UniversityGuangzhouChina

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