Emerging roles of long non-coding RNAs in plant response to biotic and abiotic stresses.

Spectacular progress in high-throughput transcriptome sequencing and expression profiling using next-generation sequencing technologies have recently revolutionized molecular biology and allowed massive advances in identifying the genomic regions and molecular mechanisms underlying transcriptional regulation of growth, development, and stress response. Through recent research, non-coding RNAs, in particular long non-coding RNAs, have emerged as key regulators of transcription in eukaryotes. Long non-coding RNAs are vastly heterogeneous groups of RNAs that execute a broad range of essential roles in various biological processes at the epigenetic, transcriptional, and post-transcriptional levels. They modulate transcription through diverse mechanisms. Recently, numerous lncRNAs have been identified to be associated with defense responses to biotic and abiotic stresses. These have been suggested to perform indispensable roles in plant immunity and adaptation to environmental conditions. However, only a few lncRNAs have been functionally characterized in plants. In this paper, we summarize the present knowledge of lncRNAs, review the recent advances in understanding regulatory functions of lncRNAs, and highlight the emerging roles of lncRNAs in regulating immune responses in plants.

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