High-throughput deep sequencing reveals the important role that microRNAs play in the salt response in sweet potato (Ipomoea batatas L.).


Key Lab of Phylogeny and Comparative Genomics of the Jiangsu Province, Institute of Integrative Plant Biology, School of Life Sciences, Jiangsu Normal University, Xuzhou, 221116, Jiangsu Province, China. [Email]


BACKGROUND : MicroRNAs (miRNAs), a class of small regulatory RNAs, have been proven to play important roles in plant growth, development and stress responses. Sweet potato (Ipomoea batatas L.) is an important food and industrial crop that ranks seventh in staple food production. However, the regulatory mechanism of miRNA-mediated abiotic stress response in sweet potato remains unclear.
RESULTS : In this study, we employed deep sequencing to identify both conserved and novel miRNAs from salinity-exposed sweet potato cultivars and its untreated control. Twelve small non-coding RNA libraries from NaCl-free (CK) and NaCl-treated (Na150) sweet potato leaves and roots were constructed for salt-responsive miRNA identification in sweet potatoes. A total of 475 known miRNAs (belonging to 66 miRNA families) and 175 novel miRNAs were identified. Among them, 51 (22 known miRNAs and 29 novel miRNAs) were significantly up-regulated and 76 (61 known miRNAs and 15 novel miRNAs) were significantly down-regulated by salinity stress in sweet potato leaves; 13 (12 known miRNAs and 1 novel miRNAs) were significantly up-regulated and 9 (7 known miRNAs and 2 novel miRNAs) were significantly down-regulated in sweet potato roots. Furthermore, 636 target genes of 314 miRNAs were validated by degradome sequencing. Deep sequencing results confirmed by qRT-PCR experiments indicated that the expression of most miRNAs exhibit a negative correlation with the expression of their targets under salt stress.
CONCLUSIONS : This study provides insights into the regulatory mechanism of miRNA-mediated salt response and molecular breeding of sweet potatoes though miRNA manipulation.


Degradome sequencing,High-throughput sequencing,Salt stress,Sweet potato,microRNA,

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