MicroRNAs are ~21 nucleotide long non-coding RNAs that play critical roles in post transcriptional gene regulation. Although a large number of miRNAs have been identified in animals and plants, most of their functions remain to be annotated. In this talk, I will discuss recent development, using computational approaches, in the understanding of 1) how microRNAs are transcribed in animals and plants and 2) how microRNAs are induced to regulate protein-coding genes in response to environmental stress, e.g., drought and cold, in plants. I will focus on machine learning/datamining approaches that integrate genomic sequences, cis-regulatory elements, and gene expression information to gain biological insight into microRNA biosythesis and microRNA mediated post-transcriptional regulation.
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