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Alternative splicing is a molecular tool of the cell to generate more than onemessenger RNA fromthe same gene.Through variable combinations of exons blueprints for different proteins are assembled from one and the same pre-messenger RNA, thus increasing the complexity of the proteome. Moreover, through alternative splicing different transcript variants with different stabilities and different regulatory motifs can be generated, leading to variation in the transcriptome. The importance of alternative splicing in plants has been increasingly recognized in the last decade. Alternative splicing has been found during abiotic and biotic stress and during development. Here, recent advancements in the understanding of alternative splicing in higher plants are presented. Mechanistic details and functional consequences of alternative splicing are discussed with a focus on the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana.
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