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Redefining Non-coding RNA

CUHK research team from the Centre for Genomic Studies on Plant-Environment Interaction for Sustainable Agriculture and Food Security

A research team from CUHK’s Centre for Genomic Studies on Plant-Environment Interaction for Sustainable Agriculture and Food Security found that some non-coding RNA can produce very short proteins (small peptides) that play an important role in regulating organismal development and stress resistances. The research article has been published in Plant Physiology.

Scientists suggest that most RNA molecules (coding RNA) will be decoded into proteins, while some (non-coding RNA) function to regulate gene expression without translating into proteins. Those with at least 200 nucleotides in length are called long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs). The research team has identified IncRNA to be the source of small peptides. The findings imply that scientists should restudy the classification and function of IncRNAs, which may open a new research path for future drug and crop improvement.