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ARS Home » Pacific West Area » Davis, California » Nat'l Clonal Germplasm Rep - Tree Fruit & Nut Crops & Grapes » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #332350

Research Project: Management of Genetic Resources & Associated Information for Grape, Tree Fruit, Tree Nut, & Other Specialty Crops to Mediterranean Climates

Location: Nat'l Clonal Germplasm Rep - Tree Fruit & Nut Crops & Grapes

Title: Genome-wide identification of microRNAs in pomegranate (Punica granatum L.) by high-throughput sequencing

Author
item THANGASAMY, SAMINATHAN - West Virginia State University
item ABIODUN, BODUNRIN - West Virginia State University
item NRIPENDRA, SINGH - Maharashtra Agricultural University
item DEVARAJAN, RAMAJAYAM - Indian Institute Of Horticultural Research
item NIMMAKAYALA, PADMA - West Virginia State University
item Moersfelder, Jeff
item Aradhya, Mallikarjuna
item REDDY, UMESH - West Virginia State University

Submitted to: Biomed Central (BMC) Plant Biology
Publication Type: Review Article
Publication Acceptance Date: 5/1/2016
Publication Date: 5/26/2016
Citation: Thangasamy, S., Abiodun, B., Nripendra, S.V., Devarajan, R., Nimmakayala, P., Moersfelder, J.W., Aradhya, M.K., Reddy, U.K. 2016. Genome-wide identification of microRNAs in pomegranate (Punica granatum L.) by high-throughput sequencing. Biomed Central (BMC) Plant Biology. 16:122. doi: 10.0086/s12870-016-0807-3.

Interpretive Summary: Background: MicroRNAs (miRNAs), a class of small non-coding endogenous RNAs that regulate gene expression post-transcriptionally, play multiple key roles in plant growth and development and in biotic and abiotic stress response. Knowledge and roles of miRNAs in pomegranate fruit development have not been explored. Results: Pomegranate, which accumulates a large amount of anthocyanins in skin and arils, is valuable to human health, mainly because of its antioxidant properties. In this study, we developed a small RNA library from pooled RNA samples from young seedlings to mature fruits and identified both conserved and pomegranate-specific miRNA from 29,948,480 high-quality reads. For the pool of 15- to 30-nt small RNAs, ~50 % were 24 nt. The miR157 family was the most abundant, followed by miR156, miR166, and miR168, with variants within each family. The base bias at the first position from the 5’ end had a strong preference for U for most 18- to 26-nt sRNAs but a preference for A for 18-nt sRNAs. In addition, for all 24-nt sRNAs, the nucleotide U was preferred (97 %) in the first position. Stem-loop RT-qPCR was used to validate the expression of the predominant miRNAs and novel miRNAs in leaves, male and female flowers, and multiple fruit developmental stages; miR156, miR156a, miR159a, miR159b, and miR319b were upregulated during the later stages of fruit development. Higher expression of miR156 in later fruit developmental may positively regulate anthocyanin biosynthesis by reducing SPL transcription factor. Novel miRNAs showed variation in expression among different tissues. These novel miRNAs targeted different transcription factors and hormone related regulators. Gene ontology and KEGG pathway analyses revealed predominant metabolic processes and catalytic activities, important for fruit development. In addition, KEGG pathway analyses revealed the involvement of miRNAs in ascorbate and linolenic acid, starch and sucrose metabolism; RNA transport; plant hormone signaling pathways; and circadian clock. Conclusion: Our first and preliminary report of miRNAs will provide information on the synthesis of biochemical compounds of pomegranate for future research. The functions of the targets of the novel miRNAs need further investigation.

Technical Abstract: Background: MicroRNAs (miRNAs), a class of small non-coding endogenous RNAs that regulate gene expression post-transcriptionally, play multiple key roles in plant growth and development and in biotic and abiotic stress response. Knowledge and roles of miRNAs in pomegranate fruit development have not been explored. Results: Pomegranate, which accumulates a large amount of anthocyanins in skin and arils, is valuable to human health, mainly because of its antioxidant properties. In this study, we developed a small RNA library from pooled RNA samples from young seedlings to mature fruits and identified both conserved and pomegranate-specific miRNA from 29,948,480 high-quality reads. For the pool of 15- to 30-nt small RNAs, ~50 % were 24 nt. The miR157 family was the most abundant, followed by miR156, miR166, and miR168, with variants within each family. The base bias at the first position from the 5’ end had a strong preference for U for most 18- to 26-nt sRNAs but a preference for A for 18-nt sRNAs. In addition, for all 24-nt sRNAs, the nucleotide U was preferred (97 %) in the first position. Stem-loop RT-qPCR was used to validate the expression of the predominant miRNAs and novel miRNAs in leaves, male and female flowers, and multiple fruit developmental stages; miR156, miR156a, miR159a, miR159b, and miR319b were upregulated during the later stages of fruit development. Higher expression of miR156 in later fruit developmental may positively regulate anthocyanin biosynthesis by reducing SPL transcription factor. Novel miRNAs showed variation in expression among different tissues. These novel miRNAs targeted different transcription factors and hormone related regulators. Gene ontology and KEGG pathway analyses revealed predominant metabolic processes and catalytic activities, important for fruit development. In addition, KEGG pathway analyses revealed the involvement of miRNAs in ascorbate and linolenic acid, starch and sucrose metabolism; RNA transport; plant hormone signaling pathways; and circadian clock. Conclusion: Our first and preliminary report of miRNAs will provide information on the synthesis of biochemical compounds of pomegranate for future research. The functions of the targets of the novel miRNAs need further investigation.