The halophyte tamarisk (Tamarix
) is extremely salt tolerant, making it an ideal material for salt tolerance-related studies. Although many salt-responsive genes of Tamarix
were identified in previous studies, there are no reports on the role of post-transcriptional regulation in its salt tolerance. We constructed six small RNA libraries of Tamarix chinensis
roots with NaCl treatments. High-throughput sequencing of the six libraries was performed and microRNA expression profiles were constructed. We investigated salt-responsive microRNAs to uncover the microRNA-mediated genes regulation. From these analyses, 251 conserved and 18 novel microRNA were identified from all small RNAs. From 191 differentially expressed microRNAs, 74 co-expressed microRNAs were identified as salt-responsive candidate microRNAs. The most enriched GO (gene ontology) terms for the 157 genes targeted by differentially expressed microRNAs suggested that transcriptions factors were highly active. Two hub microRNAs (miR414, miR5658), which connected by several target genes into an organic microRNA regulatory network, appeared to be the key regulators of post-transcriptional salt-stress responses. As the first survey on the tamarisk small RNAome, this study improves the understanding of tamarisk salt-tolerance mechanisms and will contribute to the molecular-assisted resistance breeding.
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