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Genes 2017, 8(6), 156; doi:10.3390/genes8060156

Genome-Wide Identification and Characterization of Salinity Stress-Responsive miRNAs in Wild Emmer Wheat (Triticum turgidum ssp. dicoccoides)

1
State Key Laboratory of Crop Stress Biology in Arid Areas, College of Agronomy and Yangling Branch of China Wheat Improvement Center, Northwest A&F University, Yangling 712100, Shaanxi, China
2
Australia-China Joint Research Centre for Abiotic and Biotic Stress Management in Agriculture, Horticulture and Forestry, Yangling 712100, Shaanxi, China
These authors contributed equally to this work.
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Bin Yu
Received: 21 April 2017 / Revised: 26 May 2017 / Accepted: 26 May 2017 / Published: 6 June 2017
(This article belongs to the Section Plant Genetics and Genomics)
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Abstract

MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are a class of endogenous small noncoding RNAs which regulate diverse molecular and biochemical processes at a post-transcriptional level in plants. As the ancestor of domesticated wheat, wild emmer wheat (Triticum turgidum ssp. dicoccoides) has great genetic potential for wheat improvement. However, little is known about miRNAs and their functions on salinity stress in wild emmer. To obtain more information on miRNAs in wild emmer, we systematically investigated and characterized the salinity-responsive miRNAs using deep sequencing technology. A total of 88 conserved and 124 novel miRNAs were identified, of which 50 were proven to be salinity-responsive miRNAs, with 32 significantly up-regulated and 18 down-regulated. miR172b and miR1120a, as well as mi393a, were the most significantly differently expressed. Targets of these miRNAs were computationally predicted, then Gene Ontology (GO) and Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes (KEGG) analysis found that the targets of salinity-responsive miRNAs were enriched in transcription factors and stress-related proteins. Finally, we investigated the expression profiles of seven miRNAs ranging between salt-tolerant and sensitive genotypes, and found that they played critical roles in salinity tolerance in wild emmer. Our results systematically identified the salinity-responsive miRNAs in wild emmer, not only enriching the miRNA resource but also laying the foundation for further study on the biological functions and evolution of miRNAs in wild wheat and beyond. View Full-Text
Keywords: salinity stress; wild emmer; microRNAs (miRNA); qRT-PCR; deep sequencing salinity stress; wild emmer; microRNAs (miRNA); qRT-PCR; deep sequencing
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Feng, K.; Nie, X.; Cui, L.; Deng, P.; Wang, M.; Song, W. Genome-Wide Identification and Characterization of Salinity Stress-Responsive miRNAs in Wild Emmer Wheat (Triticum turgidum ssp. dicoccoides). Genes 2017, 8, 156.

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