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Forests 2016, 7(12), 318; doi:10.3390/f7120318

Identification and Target Prediction of MicroRNAs in Ulmus pumila L. Seedling Roots under Salt Stress by High-Throughput Sequencing

Research Center of Saline and Alkali Land of State Forestry Administration, Beijing 100091, China
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Academic Editors: Stephen DiFazio and John MacKay
Received: 8 September 2016 / Revised: 30 November 2016 / Accepted: 9 December 2016 / Published: 20 December 2016
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Abstract

MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are a class of endogenous small RNAs with important roles in plant growth, development, and environmental stress responses. Ulmus pumila L., a deciduous broadleaved tree species of northern temperate regions, is widely distributed in central and northern Asia and has important economic and ecological value. With the spread and aggravation of soil salinization, salt stress has become a major abiotic stress affecting the normal growth and development of U. pumila. However, the influence of salt stress on U. pumila miRNA expression has not been investigated. To identify miRNAs and predict their target mRNA genes under salt stress, three small RNA libraries were generated and sequenced from roots of U. pumila seedlings treated with various concentrations of NaCl corresponding to no salt stress, light short-term salt stress, and medium-heavy long-term salt stress. Integrative analysis identified 254 conserved miRNAs representing 29 families and 49 novel miRNAs; 232 potential targets of the miRNAs were also predicted. Expression profiling of miRNAs between libraries was performed, and the expression of six miRNAs was validated by quantitative reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR). Our findings provide an overview of potential miRNAs and corresponding targets involved in regulating U. pumila salt defense responses. These results lay the foundation for further research into molecular mechanisms involved in salt stress resistance in U. pumila and other Ulmaceae species. View Full-Text
Keywords: Ulmus pumila L.; MicroRNA; MicroRNA target; salt stress; high-throughput sequencing; qRT-PCR Ulmus pumila L.; MicroRNA; MicroRNA target; salt stress; high-throughput sequencing; qRT-PCR
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Zhu, J.; Yang, X.; Liu, Z.; Zhang, H. Identification and Target Prediction of MicroRNAs in Ulmus pumila L. Seedling Roots under Salt Stress by High-Throughput Sequencing. Forests 2016, 7, 318.

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