The snoRNAs (small nucleolar RNAs) and related scaRNAs (small RNAs in the Cajal bodies) represent a major class of nuclear RNAs that guide 2′-O-ribose methylation and pseudouridylation of rRNAs, snRNAs (small nuclear RNAs) and other RNA targets. In vivo, all snoRNAs associate with a set of four highly conserved nucleolar proteins, forming the functional snoRNPs (small nucleolar ribonucleoproteins). The core structure of these mature snoRNPs has now been well described in eukaryotes, but less is known of their biogenesis. Recent data in animals and yeast reveal that assembly of the snoRNPs is a complex process that implicates several auxiliary proteins and transient protein–protein interactions. This new level of snoRNP regulation is now beginning to be unravelled in animals and yeast, but remains unexplored in plants. In the present paper, we review recent data from genomic and functional analysis allowing the identification and study of factors controlling the biogenesis of plant snoRNPs and their impact on plant development.

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