Small regulatory RNAs and the fine-tuning of plant–bacteria interactions.

Small regulatory RNAs (sRNAs) play a key role in many physiological and adaptive responses in bacteria. Faced with rapidly changing environments, it is more advantageous for bacteria to use sRNA-mediated responses than regulation by protein transcriptional factors, as sRNAs act at the post-transcriptional level and require less energy and time for their synthesis and turnover. The use of RNA deep sequencing has provided hundreds of sRNA candidates in different bacterial species that interact with plants. Here, we review the most recent results for the involvement of bacterial sRNAs in beneficial as well as deleterious plant–bacteria interactions. We describe the current view for the role of sRNAs, which are suggested to improve competition for both niches and resources in plant-interacting bacteria. These sRNAs also help plant-associated bacteria individually adapt to the rapidly changing conditions to which they are exposed, during different stages of this interaction.

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