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Combining classical approaches and new technologies to identify and explore novel regulatory networks governing fruit development

Abstract

Arabidopsis fruit are patterned into three major regions: the valves, replum, and valve margin. Previous studies have shown that different suites of transcriptional regulators control the formation of each of these tissue types and modulate their growth. However, our recent findings have revealed the significant impact that microRNA (miR)-guided post-transcriptional control has during fruit development. Our goal in this study is to incorporate the activities of these miRNAs and their corresponding targets into the current regulatory networks governing fruit development. At the same time, we have also developed several strategies to elucidate the upstream layer of transcriptional regulators modulating the activity of these riboregulators. Through the combination of traditional approaches, high-throughput technologies, and bioinformatics tools, we have identified several putative upstream regulators of two miRNA encoding loci that play a role in fruit development. Although we have only scratched the surface of understanding the regulatory networks orchestrating this process, our research has opened the door to more efficient methods of identifying key regulators in the fruit development pathway

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