Bioinformatic Exploration of the Targets of Xylem Sap miRNAs in Maize under Cadmium Stress.
ABSTRACT: Cadmium (Cd) has the potential to be chronically toxic to humans through contaminated crop products. MicroRNAs (miRNAs) can move systemically in plants. To investigate the roles of long-distance moving xylem miRNAs in regulating maize response to Cd stress, three xylem sap small RNA (sRNA) libraries were constructed for high-throughput sequencing to identify potential mobile miRNAs in Cd-stressed maize seedlings and their putative targets in maize transcriptomes. In total, about 199 miRNAs (20?22 nucleotides) were identified in xylem sap from maize seedlings, including 97 newly discovered miRNAs and 102 known miRNAs. Among them, 10 miRNAs showed differential expression in xylem sap after 1 h of Cd treatment. Two miRNAs target prediction tools, psRNAtarget (reporting the inhibition pattern of cleavage) and DPMIND (discovering Plant MiRNA-Target Interaction with degradome evidence), were used in combination to identify, via bioinformatics, the targets of 199 significantly expressed miRNAs in maize xylem sap. The integrative results of these two bioinformatic tools suggested that 27 xylem sap miRNAs inhibit 34 genes through cleavage with degradome evidence. Moreover, nearly 300 other genes were also the potential miRNAs cleavable targets without available degradome data support, and the majority of them were enriched in abiotic stress response, cell signaling, transcription regulation, as well as metal handling. These approaches and results not only enhanced our understanding of the Cd-responsive long-distance transported miRNAs from the view of xylem sap, but also provided novel insights for predicting the molecular genetic mechanisms mediated by miRNAs.
Project description:BACKGROUND AND AIMS: MicroRNAs (miRNAs) play an important role in the responses and adaptation of plants to many stresses including low nitrogen (LN). Characterizing relevant miRNAs will improve our understanding of nitrogen (N) use efficiency and LN tolerance and thus contribute to sustainable maize production. The objective of this study was to identify novel and known miRNAs and their targets involved in the response and adaptation of maize (Zea mays) to LN stress. METHODS: MiRNAs and their targets were identified by combined analysis of deep sequencing of small RNA and degradome libraries. The identity of target genes was confirmed by gene-specific RNA ligase-mediated rapid amplification of 5' cDNA ends (RLM-RACE) and by quantitative expression analysis. KEY RESULTS: Over 150 million raw reads of small RNA and degradome sequence data were generated. A total of 46 unique mature miRNA sequences belonging to 23 maize miRNA families were sequenced. Eighty-five potentially new miRNAs were identified, with corresponding miRNA* also identified for 65 of them. Twenty-five new miRNAs showed >2-fold relative change in response to LN. In addition to known miR169 species, two novel putative miR169 species were identified. Deep sequencing of miRNAs and the degradome, and RLM-RACE and quantitative polymerase chain reaction (PCR) analyses of their targets showed that miRC10- and miRC68-mediated target cleavage may play a major role among miR169 families in the adaptation to LN by maize seedlings. CONCLUSIONS: Small RNA and degradome sequencing combined with quantitative reverse transcription-PCR and RLM-RACE verification enabled the efficient identification of miRNAs and their target genes. The generated data sets and the two novel miR169 species that were identified will contribute to our understanding of the physiological basis of adaptation to LN stress in maize plants.
Project description:Although recent studies indicated that miRNAs regulate plant adaptive responses to nutrient deprivation, the functional significance of miRNAs in adaptive responses to nitrogen (N) limitation remains to be explored. To elucidate the molecular biology underlying N sensing/signaling in maize, we constructed four small RNA libraries and one degradome from maize seedlings exposed to N deficiency. We discovered a total of 99 absolutely new loci belonging to 47 miRNA families by small RNA deep sequencing and degradome sequencing, as well as 9 new loci were the paralogs of previously reported miR169, miR171, and miR398, significantly expanding the reported 150 high confidence genes within 26 miRNA families in maize. Bioinformatic and subsequent small RNA northern blot analysis identified eight miRNA families (five conserved and three newly identified) differentially expressed under the N-deficient condition. Predicted and degradome-validated targets of the newly identified miRNAs suggest their involvement in a broad range of cellular responses and metabolic processes. Because maize is not only an important crop but is also a genetic model for basic biological research, our research contributes to the understanding of the regulatory roles of miRNAs in plant adaption to N-deficiency stress.
Project description:Eucommia ulmoides has attracted much attention as a valuable natural rubber (Eu-rubber) production tree. As a strategic material, Eu-rubber plays a vital role in general and defence industries. However, the study of Eu-rubber biosynthesis at a molecular level is scarce, and the regulatory network between microRNAs (miRNAs) and messenger RNAs (mRNAs) in Eu-rubber biosynthesis has not been assessed. In this study, we comprehensively analyzed the transcriptomes, small RNAs (sRNAs) and degradome to reveal the regulatory network of Eu-rubber biosynthesis in E. ulmoides. A total of 82,065 unigenes and 221 miRNAs were identified using high-throughput sequencing; 20,815 targets were predicted using psRNATarget software. Of these targets, 779 miRNA-target pairs were identified via degradome sequencing. Thirty-one miRNAs were differentially expressed; 22 targets of 34 miRNAs were annotated in the terpenoid backbone biosynthesis pathway (ko00900) based on the Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes (KEGG). These miRNAs were putatively related to Eu-rubber biosynthesis. A regulatory network was constructed according to the expression profiles of miRNAs and their targets. These results provide a comprehensive analysis of transcriptomics, sRNAs and degradome to reveal the Eu-rubber accumulation, and provide new insights into genetic engineering techniques which may improve the content of Eu-rubber in E. ulmoides.
Project description:MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are a distinct class of small RNAs in plants that not only regulate biological processes but also regulate response to environmental stresses. The toxic heavy metal cadmium (Cd) induces expression of several miRNAs in rapeseed (Brassica napus), but it is not known on a genome-wide scale how the expression of miRNAs and their target genes, is regulated by Cd. In this study, four small RNA libraries and four degradome libraries were constructed from Cd-treated and non-Cd-treated roots and shoots of B. napus seedlings. Using high-throughput sequencing, the study identified 84 conserved and non-conserved miRNAs (belonging to 37 miRNA families) from Cd-treated and non-treated B. napus, including 19 miRNA members that were not identified before. Some of the miRNAs were validated by RNA gel blotting. Most of the identified miRNAs were found to be differentially expressed in roots/shoots or regulated by Cd exposure. The study simultaneously identified 802 targets for the 37 (24 conserved and 13 non-conserved) miRNA families, from which there are 200, 537, and 65 targets, belonging to categories I, II, and III, respectively. In category I alone, many novel targets for miRNAs were identified and shown to be involved in plant response to Cd.
Project description:To identify the known and novel microRNAs (miRNAs) and their targets that are involved in the response and adaptation of maize (Zea mays) to salt stress, miRNAs and their targets were identified by a combined analysis of the deep sequencing of small RNAs (sRNA) and degradome libraries. The identities were confirmed by a quantitative expression analysis with over 100 million raw reads of sRNA and degradome sequences. A total of 1040 previously known miRNAs were identified from four maize libraries, with 762 and 726 miRNAs derived from leaves and roots, respectively, and 448 miRNAs that were common between the leaves and roots. A total of 37 potential new miRNAs were selected based on the same criteria in response to salt stress. In addition to known miR167 and miR164 species, novel putative miR167 and miR164 species were also identified. Deep sequencing of miRNAs and the degradome [with quantitative reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR) analyses of their targets] showed that more than one species of novel miRNA may play key roles in the response to salinity in maize. Furthermore, the interaction between miRNAs and their targets may play various roles in different parts of maize in response to salinity.
Project description:MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are endogenous non-coding small RNAs that play vital regulatory roles in plant growth, development, and environmental stress responses. Cadmium (Cd) is a non-essential heavy metal that is highly toxic to living organisms. To date, a number of conserved and non-conserved miRNAs have been identified to be involved in response to Cd stress in some plant species. However, the miRNA-mediated gene regulatory networks responsive to Cd stress in radish (Raphanus sativus L.) remain largely unexplored. To dissect Cd-responsive miRNAs and their targets systematically at the global level, two small RNA libraries were constructed from Cd-treated and Cd-free roots of radish seedlings. Using Solexa sequencing technology, 93 conserved and 16 non-conserved miRNAs (representing 26 miRNA families) and 28 novel miRNAs (representing 22 miRNA families) were identified. In all, 15 known and eight novel miRNA families were significantly differently regulated under Cd stress. The expression patterns of a set of Cd-responsive miRNAs were validated by quantitative real-time PCR. Based on the radish mRNA transcriptome, 18 and 71 targets for novel and known miRNA families, respectively, were identified by the degradome sequencing approach. Furthermore, a few target transcripts including phytochelatin synthase 1 (PCS1), iron transporter protein, and ABC transporter protein were involved in plant response to Cd stress. This study represents the first transcriptome-based analysis of miRNAs and their targets responsive to Cd stress in radish roots. These findings could provide valuable information for functional characterization of miRNAs and their targets in regulatory networks responsive to Cd stress in radish.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>Current research has shown that microRNAs (miRNAs) play vital roles in plant response to stress caused by heavy metals such as aluminum, arsenic, cadmium (Cd), and mercury. Cd has become one of the most hazardous pollutants in the environment. Maize can be a potential model to study phytoremediation of Cd-contaminated soil owing to its large biomass production. However, little is known about miRNAs as a response to Cd stress in maize.<h4>Results</h4>To investigate the role of miRNAs in response to Cd stress, roots of seedlings of the inbred maize lines B73 and Mo17 were collected and treated with 200 mg/L CdCl<sub>2</sub>·2.5 H<sub>2</sub>O over different exposure times. Enzyme activities of superoxide dismutase and peroxidase were measured to confirm Cd stress. The expression of six candidate miRNAs and their targets were validated using quantitative real-time PCR (qRT-PCR) technology. In addition, the expression of Zma-miR171b was assessed using in situ hybridization.<h4>Conclusions</h4>Our results showed that miRNAs and their respective target genes were differentially expressed in maize seedling roots exposed to Cd stress. This research produced new insights into the molecular mechanism of miRNAs responsive to Cd stress in plants and sheds light on the latent roles of miRNAs in plants exposed to heavy metal stresses.
Project description:Phytochelatins (PCs) are glutathione-derived peptides that function in heavy metal detoxification in plants and certain fungi. Recent research in Arabidopsis has shown that PCs undergo long-distance transport between roots and shoots. However, it remains unknown which tissues or vascular systems, xylem or phloem, mediate PC translocation and whether PC transport contributes to physiologically relevant long-distance transport of cadmium (Cd) between shoots and roots. To address these questions, xylem and phloem sap were obtained from Brassica napus to quantitatively analyze which thiol species are present in response to Cd exposure. High levels of PCs were identified in the phloem sap within 24 h of Cd exposure using combined mass spectrometry and fluorescence HPLC analyses. Unexpectedly, the concentration of Cd was more than four-fold higher in phloem sap compared to xylem sap. Cadmium exposure dramatically decreased iron levels in xylem and phloem sap whereas other essential heavy metals such as zinc and manganese remained unchanged. Data suggest that Cd inhibits vascular loading of iron but not nicotianamine. The high ratios [PCs]/[Cd] and [glutathione]/[Cd] in the phloem sap suggest that PCs and glutathione (GSH) can function as long-distance carriers of Cd. In contrast, only traces of PCs were detected in xylem sap. Our results suggest that, in addition to directional xylem Cd transport, the phloem is a major vascular system for long-distance source to sink transport of Cd as PC-Cd and glutathione-Cd complexes.
Project description:BACKGROUND:The xylem sap of vascular plants primarily transports water and mineral nutrients from the roots to the shoots and also transports heavy metals such as cadmium (Cd). Proteomic changes in xylem sap is an important mechanism for detoxifying Cd by plants. However, it is unclear how proteins in xylem sap respond to Cd. Here, we investigated the effects of Cd stress on the xylem sap proteome of Brassica napus using a label-free shotgun proteomic approach to elucidate plant response mechanisms to Cd toxicity. RESULTS:We identified and quantified 672 proteins; 67% were predicted to be secretory, and 11% (73 proteins) were unique to Cd-treated samples. Cd stress caused statistically significant and biologically relevant abundance changes in 28 xylem sap proteins. Among these proteins, the metabolic pathways that were most affected were related to cell wall modifications, stress/oxidoreductases, and lipid and protein metabolism. We functionally validated a plant defensin-like protein, BnPDFL, which belongs to the stress/oxidoreductase category, that was unique to the Cd-treated samples and played a positive role in Cd tolerance. Subcellular localization analysis revealed that BnPDFL is cell wall-localized. In vitro Cd-binding assays revealed that BnPDFL has Cd-chelating activity. BnPDFL heterologous overexpression significantly enhanced Cd tolerance in E. coli and Arabidopsis. Functional disruption of Arabidopsis plant defensin genes AtPDF2.3 and AtPDF2.2, which are mainly expressed in root vascular bundles, significantly decreased Cd tolerance. CONCLUSIONS:Several xylem sap proteins in Brassica napus are differentially induced in response to Cd treatment, and plant defensin plays a positive role in Cd tolerance.
Project description:BACKGROUND: Plant systemic signaling characterized by the long distance transport of molecules across plant organs involves the xylem and phloem conduits. Root-microbe interactions generate systemic signals that are transported to aerial organs via the xylem sap. We analyzed the xylem sap proteome of soybean seedlings in response to pathogenic and symbiotic interactions to identify systemic signaling proteins and other differentially expressed proteins. RESULTS: We observed the increase of a serine protease and peroxidase in the xylem sap in response to Phytophthora sojae elicitor treatment. The high molecular weight fraction of soybean xylem sap was found to promote the growth of Neurospora crassa in vitro at lower concentrations and inhibit growth at higher concentrations. Sap from soybean plants treated with a P. sojae elicitor had a significantly higher inhibitory effect than sap from control soybean plants. When soybean seedlings were inoculated with the symbiont Bradyrhizobium japonicum, the abundance of a xyloglucan transendoglycosyl transferase protein increased in the xylem sap. However, RNAi-mediated silencing of the corresponding gene did not significantly affect nodulation in soybean hairy root composite plants. CONCLUSION: Our study identified a number of sap proteins from soybean that are differentially induced in response to B. japonicum and P. sojae elicitor treatments and a majority of them were secreted proteins.