Except for one area of gene expression control, plant research has significantly fallen behind studies in insects and vertebrates. The advances made in animal gene expression control have benefited plant research, as we continue to find that much of the machinery and mechanisms controlling gene expression have been preserved in all eukaryotes. Through comparison, we have learned that certain aspects of gene regulation are shared by plants and animals, i.e. both contain introns separating the coding regions of most genes and both utilize similar machinery to process the introns to form mature mRNAs. Yet there are some interesting differences in gene structure and regulation between plants and animals. For example, unlike animal genes, plant genes are generally much smaller with fewer and smaller introns.
Regulation of Gene Expression in Plants presents some of the most recent, novel and fascinating examples of transcriptional and posttranscriptional control of gene expression in plants and, where appropriate, provides comparison to notable examples of animal gene regulation.