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The RNA editing is one of the post-transcriptional modifications which prepare RNA for fulfilling its function. It is well known that editing is a common process for most of eukaryotic organisms (from protozoan to human) and for some groups of viruses, however its mechanism is specific for species, genera and kingdoms. Up to now RNA editing is well characterized for few species only. It is suggested that substitutional RNA editing is conducted by deaminase so as it does not lead to the sugar-phosphate backbone brakeage. The sequence, usually 20 to 30 nucleotides long, placed directly upstream of the editing site is believed to be a cis-acting element and to play the crucial role in indicating the site undergoing editing. Trans-acting factors, preferably the proteins from the large family of PPR (Pentatrico Peptide-Repeat) proteins, should be able to recognize and attach to cis-acting elements initiating the editing process. In the plant kingdom keeping so complicated and energy consuming process seems to be superfluous because all the changes introduced by RNA editing could be placed directly in DNA without any harmful effects. For that reason several hypothesis concerning editing evolution, significance and mechanisms were developed. Currently the studies concerning the RNA editing in plants focus on determining any similarities and/or differences between sequences adjacent to the same editing sites in different species and these placed in the different parts of the genome. At the same time some effort is taken to develop efficient in vitro systems to study the RNA editing and to prepare some tools able to detect directly the editing defects, systematically control the RNA editing reaction state and analyse this process in vitro with use of fluorescent dyes. In this article we attempted to put together known facts referring to the RNA editing in plants with an emphasis on the chloroplast genome (particularly on regulation of the mechanism of RNA editing).

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The Editorial Board
Andrzej Łukaszyk - przewodniczący, Zofia Bielańska-Osuchowska, Szczepan Biliński, Mieczysław Chorąży, Aleksander Koj, Włodzimierz Korochoda, Leszek Kuźnicki, Aleksandra Stojałowska, Lech Wojtczak

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