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Table 1 Plant and animal miRNAs

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

CharacteristicsPlant miRNAsAnimal miRNA
ComplementarityAlmost perfect base-pairingUsually non-perfect
Gene TargetingCoding region in the open reading frame3′ untranslated region
mRNA targetingSingleMultiple
Major mechanisms of actionCleavage of mRNA target or inhibition of transcriptionInhibition of translation
GroupingOften belong to large miRNA gene familiesAssociation in large families is uncommon
LengthShortLong
RNA Polymerases involvedRNA Pol II e IIIRNA Pol II
Preservation during evolutionOften conserved among speciesConservation between species is less common than plants