Populus euphratica, a typical hydro-halophyte, is ideal for studying salt stress responses in woody plants. MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are endogenous non-coding small RNAs that fulfilled an important post-transcriptional regulatory function. MiRNA may regulate tolerance to salt stress but this has not been widely studied in P. euphratica.
In this investigation, the small RNAome, degradome and transcriptome were studied in salt stress treated P. euphratica by deep sequencing. Two hundred and eleven conserved miRNAs between Populus trichocarpa and P. euphratica have been found. In addition, 162 new miRNAs, belonging to 93 families, were identified in P. euphratica. Degradome sequencing experimentally verified 112 targets that belonged to 51 identified miRNAs, few of which were known previously in P. euphratica. Transcriptome profiling showed that expression of 15 miRNA-target pairs displayed reverse changing pattern under salt stress.
Together, these results indicate that, in P. euphratica under salt stress, a large number of new miRNAs could be discovered, and both known and new miRNA were functionally cleaving to their target mRNA. Expression of miRNA and target were correspondingly induced by salt stress but that it was a complex process in P. euphratica.
- Li B, Duan H, Li J, Deng XW, Yin W, Xia X. (2013) Global identification of miRNAs and targets in Populus euphratica under salt stress. Plant Mol Biol [Epub ahead of print]. [abstract]