Extending the sRNAome of apple by next-generation sequencing.
ABSTRACT: The global importance of apple as a fruit crop necessitates investigations into molecular aspects of the processes that influence fruit quality and yield, including plant development, fruit ripening and disease resistance. In order to study and understand biological processes it is essential to recognise the range of molecules, which influence these processes. Small non-coding RNAs are regulatory agents involved in diverse plant activities, ranging from development to stress response. The occurrence of these molecules in apple leaves was studied by means of next-generation sequencing. 85 novel microRNA (miRNA) gene loci were predicted and characterized along with known miRNA loci. Both cis- and trans-natural antisense transcript pairs were identified. Although the trans-overlapping regions were enriched in small RNA (sRNA) production, cis-overlaps did not seem to agree. More than 150 phased regions were also identified, and for a small subset of these, potential miRNAs that could initiate phasing, were revealed. Repeat-associated siRNAs, which are generated from repetitive genomic regions such as transposons, were also analysed. For this group almost all available repeat sequences, associated with the apple genome and present in Repbase, were found to produce siRNAs. Results from this study extend our current knowledge on apple sRNAs and their precursors significantly. A rich molecular resource has been created and is available to the research community to serve as a baseline for future studies.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Temperature stress is a major environmental factor affecting not only plant growth and development, but also fruit postharvest life and quality. MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are a class of non-coding small RNAs that play important roles in various biological processes. Harvested banana fruit can exhibit distinct symptoms in response to different temperature stresses, but the underlying miRNA-mediated regulatory mechanisms remained unknown. RESULTS:Here, we profiled temperature-responsive miRNAs in banana, using deep sequencing and computational and molecular analyses. In total 113 known miRNAs and 26 novel banana-specific miRNAs were identified. Of these miRNAs, 42 miRNAs were expressed differentially under cold and heat stresses. Degradome sequencing identified 60 target genes regulated by known miRNAs and half of these targets were regulated by 15 temperature-responsive miRNAs. The correlative expression patterns between several miRNAs and their target genes were further validated via qRT-PCR. Our data showed that miR535 and miR156 families may derive from a common ancestor during evolution and jointly play a role in fine-tuning SPL gene expression in banana. We also identified the miRNA-triggered phased secondary siRNAs in banana and found miR393-TIR1/AFB phasiRNA production displaying cold stress-specific enrichment. CONCLUSIONS:Our results provide a foundation for understanding the miRNA-dependent temperature stress response in banana. The characterized correlations between miRNAs and their response to temperature stress could serve as markers in the breeding programs or tools for improving temperature tolerance of banana.
Project description:BACKGROUND: Natural antisense transcripts (NATs) are a class of RNAs that contain a sequence complementary to other transcripts. NATs occur widely in eukaryotes and play critical roles in post-transcriptional regulation. Soybean NAT sequences are predicted in the PlantNATsDB, but detailed analyses of these NATs remain to be performed. RESULTS: A total of 26,216 NATs, including 994 cis-NATs and 25,222 trans-NATs, were predicted in soybean. Each sense transcript had 1-177 antisense transcripts. We identified 21 trans-NATs using RT-PCR amplification. Additionally, we identified 179 cis-NATs and 6,629 trans-NATs that gave rise to small RNAs; these were enriched in the NAT overlapping region. The most abundant small RNAs were 21, 22, and 24 nt in length. The generation of small RNAs was biased to one stand of the NATs, and the degradation of NATs was biased. High-throughput sequencing of the degradome allowed for the global identification of NAT small interfering RNAs (nat-siRNAs) targets. 446 target genes for 165 of these nat-siRNAs were identified. The nat-siRNA target could be one transcript of a given NAT, or from other gene transcripts. We identified five NAT transcripts containing a hairpin structure that is characteristic of pre-miRNA. We identified a total of 86 microRNA (miRNA) targets that had antisense transcripts in soybean. CONCLUSIONS: We globally identified nat-siRNAs, and the targets of nat-siRNAs in soybean. It is likely that the cis-NATs, trans-NATs, nat-siRNAs, miRNAs, and miRNA targets form complex regulatory networks.
Project description:BACKGROUND: MicroRNAs (miRNAs) and their regulatory functions have been extensively characterized in model species but whether apple has evolved similar or unique regulatory features remains unknown. RESULTS: We performed deep small RNA-seq and identified 23 conserved, 10 less-conserved and 42 apple-specific miRNAs or families with distinct expression patterns. The identified miRNAs target 118 genes representing a wide range of enzymatic and regulatory activities. Apple also conserves two TAS gene families with similar but unique trans-acting small interfering RNA (tasiRNA) biogenesis profiles and target specificities. Importantly, we found that miR159, miR828 and miR858 can collectively target up to 81 MYB genes potentially involved in diverse aspects of plant growth and development. These miRNA target sites are differentially conserved among MYBs, which is largely influenced by the location and conservation of the encoded amino acid residues in MYB factors. Finally, we found that 10 of the 19 miR828-targeted MYBs undergo small interfering RNA (siRNA) biogenesis at the 3' cleaved, highly divergent transcript regions, generating over 100 sequence-distinct siRNAs that potentially target over 70 diverse genes as confirmed by degradome analysis. CONCLUSIONS: Our work identified and characterized apple miRNAs, their expression patterns, targets and regulatory functions. We also discovered that three miRNAs and the ensuing siRNAs exploit both conserved and divergent sequence features of MYB genes to initiate distinct regulatory networks targeting a multitude of genes inside and outside the MYB family.
Project description:Small regulatory RNAs, such as microRNAs (miRNAs) and small interfering RNAs (siRNAs) have emerged as important transcriptional and post-transcriptional regulators controlling a wide variety of physiological processes including fruit development. Data are, however, limited for their potential roles in developmental processes determining economically important traits of crops. The current study aimed to discover and characterize differentially expressed miRNAs and siRNAs in sweet pepper (Capsicum annuum) during fruit expansion. High-throughput sequencing was employed to determine the small regulatory RNA expression profiles in various fruit tissues, such as placenta, seed, and flesh at 28 and 40 days after anthesis. Comparative differential expression analyses of conserved, already described and our newly predicted pepper-specific miRNAs revealed that fruit expansion is accompanied by an increasing level of miRNA-mediated regulation of gene expression. Accordingly, ARGONAUTE1 protein, the primary executor of miRNA-mediated regulation, continuously accumulated to an extremely high level in the flesh. We also identified numerous pepper-specific, heterochromatin-associated 24-nt siRNAs (hetsiRNAs) which were extremely abundant in the seeds, as well as 21-nt and 24-nt phased siRNAs (phasiRNAs) that were expressed mainly in the placenta and the seeds. This work provides comprehensive tissue-specific miRNA and siRNA expression landscape for a developing pepper fruit. We identified several novel, abundantly expressing tissue- and pepper-specific small regulatory RNA species. Our data show that fruit expansion is associated with extensive changes in sRNA abundance, raising the possibility that manipulation of sRNA pathways may be employed to improve the quality and quantity of the pepper fruit.
Project description:Trans-acting small interfering RNAs (ta-siRNAs) and natural cis-antisense siRNAs (cis-nat-siRNAs) are recently discovered small RNAs (sRNAs) involved in post-transcriptional gene silencing. ta-siRNAs are transcribed from genomic loci and require processing by microRNAs (miRNAs). cis-nat-siRNAs are derived from antisense RNAs produced by the simultaneous transcription of overlapping antisense genes. Their roles in many plant processes, including pathogen response, are mostly unknown. In this work, we employed a bioinformatic approach to identify ta-siRNAs and cis-nat-siRNAs in cassava from two sRNA libraries, one constructed from healthy cassava plants and one from plants inoculated with the bacterium Xanthomonas axonopodis pv. manihotis (Xam). A total of 54 possible ta-siRNA loci were identified in cassava, including a homolog of TAS3, the best studied plant ta-siRNA. Fifteen of these loci were induced, while 39 were repressed in response to Xam infection. In addition, 15 possible cis-natural antisense transcript (cis-NAT) loci producing siRNAs were identified from overlapping antisense regions in the genome, and were found to be differentially expressed upon Xam infection. Roles of sRNAs were predicted by sequence complementarity and our results showed that many sRNAs identified in this work might be directed against various transcription factors. This work represents a significant step toward understanding the roles of sRNAs in the immune response of cassava.
Project description:Small RNAs (sRNAs) are ~20 to 24 nucleotide single-stranded RNAs that play crucial roles in regulation of gene expression. In plants, sRNAs are classified into microRNAs (miRNAs), repeat-associated siRNAs (ra-siRNAs), phased siRNAs (pha-siRNAs), cis and trans natural antisense transcript siRNAs (cis- and trans-nat siRNAs). Pima (Gossypium barbadense L.) is one of the most economically important fiber crops, producing the best and longest spinnable fiber. Although some miRNAs are profiled in Pima, little is known about siRNAs, the largest subclass of plant sRNAs. In order to profile these gene regulators in Pima, a comprehensive analysis of sRNAs was conducted by mining publicly available sRNA data, leading to identification of 678 miRNAs, 3,559,126 ra-siRNAs, 627 pha-siRNAs, 136,600 cis-nat siRNAs and 79,994 trans-nat siRNAs. The 678 miRNAs, belonging to 98 conserved and 402 lineage-specific families, were produced from 2,138 precursors, of which 297 arose from introns, exons, or intron/UTR-exon junctions of protein-coding genes. Ra-siRNAs were produced from various repeat loci, while most (97%) were yielded from retrotransposons, especially LTRs (long terminal repeats). The genes encoding auxin-signaling-related proteins, NBS-LRRs and transcription factors were major sources of pha-siRNAs, while two conserved TAS3 homologs were found as well. Most cis-NATs in Pima overlapped in enclosed and convergent orientations, while a few hybridized in divergent and coincided orientations. Most cis- and trans-nat siRNAs were produced from overlapping regions. Additionally, characteristics of length and the 5'-first nucleotide of each sRNA class were analyzed as well. Results in this study created a valuable molecular resource that would facilitate studies on mechanism of controlling gene expression.
Project description:MicroRNAs (miRNAs) and secondary small interfering RNAs (principally phased siRNAs or trans-acting siRNAs) are two distinct subfamilies of small RNAs (sRNAs) that are emerging as key regulators of posttranscriptional gene expression in plants. Both miRNAs and secondary-siRNAs (sec-siRNAs) are processed from longer RNA precursors by DICER-LIKE proteins (DCLs). Gossypium arboreum L., also known as tree cotton or Asian cotton, is a diploid, possibly ancestral relative of tetraploid Gossypium hirsutum L., the predominant type of commercially grown cotton worldwide known as upland cotton. To understand the biological significance of these gene regulators in G. arboreum, a bioinformatics analysis was performed on G. arboreum small RNAs produced from G. arboreum leaf, flower, and boll tissues. Consequently, 263 miRNAs derived from 353 precursors, including 155 conserved miRNAs (cs-miRNAs) and 108 novel lineage-specific miRNAs (ls-miRNAs). Along with miRNAs, 2,033 miRNA variants (isomiRNAs) were identified as well. Those isomiRNAs with variation at the 3'-miRNA end were expressed at the highest levels, compared to other types of variants. In addition, 755 pha-siRNAs derived 319 pha-siRNA gene transcripts (PGTs) were identified, and the potential pha-siRNA initiators were predicted. Also, 2,251 non-phased siRNAs were found as well, of which 1,088 appeared to be produced by so-called cis- or trans-cleavage of the PGTs observed at positions differing from pha-siRNAs. Of those sRNAs, 148 miRNAs/isomiRNAs and 274 phased/non-phased siRNAs were differentially expressed in one or more pairs of tissues examined. Target analysis revealed that target genes for both miRNAs and pha-siRNAs are involved a broad range of metabolic and enzymatic activities. We demonstrate that secondary siRNA production could result from initial cleavage of precursors by both miRNAs or isomiRNAs, and that subsequently produced phased and unphased siRNAs could result that also serve as triggers of a second round of both cis- and trans-cleavage of additional siRNAs, leading to the formation of complex sRNA regulatory networks mediating posttranscriptional gene silencing. Results from this study extended our knowledge on G. arboreum sRNAs and their biological importance, which would facilitate future studies on regulatory mechanism of tissue development in cotton and other plant species.
Project description:RNA silencing-mediated small interfering RNAs (siRNAs) and microRNAs (miRNAs) have diverse natural roles, ranging from regulation of gene expression and heterochromatin formation to genome defense against transposons and viruses. Unlike miRNAs, endogenous siRNAs are generally not conserved between species; consequently, their identification requires experimental approaches. Thus far, endogenous siRNAs have not been reported from rice, which is a model species for monocotyledonous plants. We identified a large set of putative endogenous siRNAs from root, shoot and inflorescence small RNA cDNA libraries of rice. Most of these siRNAs are from intergenic regions, although a substantial proportion (22%) originates from the introns and exons of protein-coding genes. Northern and RT-PCR analysis revealed that the expression of some of the siRNAs is tissue specific or developmental stage specific. A total of 25 transposons and 21 protein-coding genes were predicted to be cis-targets of some of the siRNAs. Based on sequence homology, we also predicted 111 putative trans-targets for 44 of the siRNAs. Interestingly, approximately 46% of the predicted trans-targets are transposable elements, which suggests that endogenous siRNAs may play an important role in the suppression of transposon proliferation. Using RNA ligase-mediated-5' rapid amplification of cDNA end assays, we validated three of the predicted targets and provided evidence for both cis- and trans-silencing of target genes by siRNAs-guided mRNA cleavage.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Cold stress causes dynamic changes in gene expression that are partially caused by small non-coding RNAs since they regulate protein coding transcripts and act in epigenetic gene silencing pathways. Thus, a detailed analysis of transcriptional changes of small RNAs (sRNAs) belonging to all known sRNA classes such as microRNAs (miRNA) and small interfering RNA (siRNAs) in response to cold contributes to an understanding of cold-related transcriptome changes. RESULT:We subjected A. thaliana plants to cold acclimation conditions (4?°C) and analyzed the sRNA transcriptomes after 3?h, 6?h and 2 d. We found 93 cold responsive differentially expressed miRNAs and only 14 of these were previously shown to be cold responsive. We performed miRNA target prediction for all differentially expressed miRNAs and a GO analysis revealed the overrepresentation of miRNA-targeted transcripts that code for proteins acting in transcriptional regulation. We also identified a large number of differentially expressed cis- and trans-nat-siRNAs, as well as sRNAs that are derived from long non-coding RNAs. By combining the results of sRNA and mRNA profiling with miRNA target predictions and publicly available information on transcription factors, we reconstructed a cold-specific, miRNA and transcription factor dependent gene regulatory network. We verified the validity of links in the network by testing its ability to predict target gene expression under cold acclimation. CONCLUSION:In A. thaliana, miRNAs and sRNAs derived from cis- and trans-NAT gene pairs and sRNAs derived from lncRNAs play an important role in regulating gene expression in cold acclimation conditions. This study provides a fundamental database to deepen our knowledge and understanding of regulatory networks in cold acclimation.
Project description:BACKGROUND: Melon (Cucumis melo L.) is a commercially important fruit crop that is cultivated worldwide. The melon research community has recently benefited from the determination of a complete draft genome sequence and the development of associated genomic tools, which have allowed us to focus on small RNAs (sRNAs). These are short, non-coding RNAs 21-24 nucleotides in length with diverse physiological roles. In plants, they regulate gene expression and heterochromatin assembly, and control protection against virus infection. Much remains to be learned about the role of sRNAs in melon. RESULTS: We constructed 10 sRNA libraries from two stages of developing ovaries, fruits and photosynthetic cotyledons infected with viruses, and carried out high-throughput pyrosequencing. We catalogued and analysed the melon sRNAs, resulting in the identification of 26 known miRNA families (many conserved with other species), the prediction of 84 melon-specific miRNA candidates, the identification of trans-acting siRNAs, and the identification of chloroplast, mitochondrion and transposon-derived sRNAs. In silico analysis revealed more than 400 potential targets for the conserved and novel miRNAs. CONCLUSION: We have discovered and analysed a large number of conserved and melon-specific sRNAs, including miRNAs and their potential target genes. This provides insight into the composition and function of the melon small RNAome, and paves the way towards an understanding of sRNA-mediated processes that regulate melon fruit development and melon-virus interactions.