Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/2440/96683
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Type: Journal article
Title: Genome-wide identification of microRNAs in leaves and the developing head of four durum genotypes during water deficit stress
Author: Liu, H.
Searle, I.
Watson-Haigh, N.
Baumann, U.
Mather, D.
Able, A.
Able, J.
Citation: PLoS One, 2015; 10(11):e0142799-1-e0142799-30
Publisher: Public Library of Science
Issue Date: 2015
ISSN: 1932-6203
1932-6203
Statement of
Responsibility: 
Haipei Liu, Iain R. Searle, Nathan S. Watson-Haigh, Ute Baumann, Diane E. Mather, Amanda J. Able, Jason A. Able
Abstract: MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are small non-coding RNAs that play critical roles in plant development and abiotic stress responses. The miRNA transcriptome (miRNAome) under water deficit stress has been investigated in many plant species, but is poorly characterised in durum wheat (Triticum turgidum L. ssp. durum). Water stress during early reproductive stages can result in significant yield loss in durum wheat and this study describes genotypic differences in the miRNAome between water deficit tolerant and sensitive durum genotypes. Small RNA libraries (96 in total) were constructed from flag leaf and developing head tissues of four durum genotypes, with or without water stress to identify differentially abundant miRNAs. Illumina sequencing detected 110 conserved miRNAs and 159 novel candidate miRNA hairpins with 66 conserved miRNAs and five novel miRNA hairpins differentially abundant under water deficit stress. Ten miRNAs (seven conserved, three novel) were validated through qPCR. Several conserved and novel miRNAs showed unambiguous inverted regulatory profiles between the durum genotypes. Several miRNAs also showed differential abundance between two tissue types regardless of treatment. Predicted mRNA targets (130) of four novel durum miRNAs were characterised using Gene Ontology (GO) which revealed functions common to stress responses and plant development. Negative correlation was observed between several target genes and the corresponding miRNA under water stress. For the first time, we present a comprehensive study of the durum miRNAome under water deficit stress. The identification of differentially abundant miRNAs provides molecular evidence that miRNAs are potential determinants of water stress tolerance in durum wheat. GO analysis of predicted targets contributes to the understanding of genotypic physiological responses leading to stress tolerance capacity. Further functional analysis of specific stress responsive miRNAs and their interaction with targets is ongoing and will assist in developing future durum wheat varieties with enhanced water deficit stress tolerance.
Keywords: Triticum; Plant Leaves; Water; MicroRNAs; RNA, Plant; Gene Expression Regulation, Plant; Stress, Physiological; Droughts
Rights: © 2015 Liu et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
RMID: 0030038496
DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0142799
Appears in Collections:Agriculture, Food and Wine publications

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