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Deep sequencing of wheat sRNA transcriptome reveals distinct temporal expression pattern of miRNAs in response to heat, light and UV

Ragupathy, R., Ravichandran, S., Mahdi, M.S.R., Huang, D., Reimer, E., Domaratzki, M., Cloutier, S. (2016). Deep sequencing of wheat sRNA transcriptome reveals distinct temporal expression pattern of miRNAs in response to heat, light and UV, 6 http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/srep39373

Abstract

© The Author(s) 2016. Understanding of plant adaptation to abiotic stresses has implications in plant breeding, especially in the context of climate change. MicroRNAs (miRNAs) and short interfering RNAs play a crucial role in gene regulation. Here, wheat plants were exposed to one of the following stresses: continuous light, heat or ultraviolet radiations over five consecutive days and leaf tissues from three biological replicates were harvested at 0, 1, 2, 3, 7 and 10 days after treatment (DAT). A total of 72 small RNA libraries were sequenced on the Illumina platform generating ∼524 million reads corresponding to ∼129 million distinct tags from which 232 conserved miRNAs were identified. The expression levels of 1, 2 and 79 miRNAs were affected by ultraviolet radiation, continuous light and heat, respectively. Approximately 55% of the differentially expressed miRNAs were downregulated at 0 and 1 DAT including miR398, miR528 and miR156 that control mRNAs involved in activation of signal transduction pathways and flowering. Other putative targets included histone variants and methyltransferases. These results suggest a temporal miRNA-guided post-transcriptional regulation that enables wheat to respond to abiotic stresses, particularly heat. Designing novel wheat breeding strategies such as regulatory gene-based marker assisted selection depends on accurate identification of stress induced miRNAs.

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