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Molecules 2018, 23(5), 1202; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules23051202

Identification and Expression of miRNAs Related to Female Flower Induction in Walnut (Juglans regia L.)

1,2
,
1,2
,
1,2
,
1,2
and
1,2,*
1
Department of Horticulture, College of Agriculture, Shihezi University, Shihezi 832003, Xinjiang, China
2
Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps Key Laboratory of Special Fruits and Vegetables Cultivation Physiology and Germplasm Resources Utilization, Shihezi 832003, Xinjiang, China
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 19 April 2018 / Revised: 8 May 2018 / Accepted: 15 May 2018 / Published: 17 May 2018
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Abstract

Flower induction is an essential stage in walnut (Juglans regia L.) trees, directly affecting yield, yield stability, fruit quality and commodity value. The objective of this study was to identify miRNAs related to female flower induction via high-throughput sequencing and bioinformatics analysis. A total of 123 miRNAs were identified including 51 known miRNAs and 72 novel miRNAs. Differential expression was observed in 19 of the known miRNAs and 34 of the novel miRNAs. Twelve miRNAs were confirmed by RT-qPCR. A total of 1339 target genes were predicted for the differentially expressed miRNAs. The functions of 616 of those target genes had been previously annotated. The target genes of the differentially expressed miRNAs included: (i) floral homeotic protein APETALA 2 (AP2) and ethylene-responsive transcription factor RAP2-7 which were targeted by jre-miRn69; (ii) squamosa promoter-binding protein 1 (SPB1) and various SPLs (squamosa promoter-binding-like protein) which were targeted by jre-miR157a-5p; (iii) various hormone response factors which were targeted by jre-miR160a-5p (ARF18) and jre-miR167a-5p (ARF8) and (iv) transcription factor SCL6 which was targeted by jre-miR171b-3p, jre-miRn46 and jre-miRn49. The KEGG pathway analysis of the target genes indicated that the differentially expressed miRNAs were mainly enriched to ubiquitin mediated proteolysis, RNA degradation and various carbohydrate metabolism pathways. Many miRNAs were detected in J. regia during female flower induction. Some miRNAs (jre-miR157a-5p, jre-miR160a-5p, jre-miR167a-5p, miR171b-3p jre-miRn69 and jre-miRn49) were involved in female flower induction. The results of this experiment will contribute valuable information for further research about the function of miRNAs in flower induction of J. regia and other fruit trees. View Full-Text
Keywords: female flower induction; microRNA; walnut (Juglans regia L.); high-throughput sequencing; RT-qPCR female flower induction; microRNA; walnut (Juglans regia L.); high-throughput sequencing; RT-qPCR
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Zhou, L.; Quan, S.; Xu, H.; Ma, L.; Niu, J. Identification and Expression of miRNAs Related to Female Flower Induction in Walnut (Juglans regia L.). Molecules 2018, 23, 1202.

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