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Table 1 Plant and animal miRNAs

From: Small RNAs in eucaryotes: new clues for amplifying microRNA benefits

Characteristics Plant miRNAs Animal miRNA
Complementarity Almost perfect base-pairing Usually non-perfect
Gene Targeting Coding region in the open reading frame 3′ untranslated region
mRNA targeting Single Multiple
Major mechanisms of action Cleavage of mRNA target or inhibition of transcription Inhibition of translation
Grouping Often belong to large miRNA gene families Association in large families is uncommon
Length Short Long
RNA Polymerases involved RNA Pol II e III RNA Pol II
Preservation during evolution Often conserved among species Conservation between species is less common than plants