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The Elaboration of miRNA Regulation and Gene Regulatory Networks in Plant–Microbe Interactions

1
Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Dalhousie University, Halifax, NS B3H 4R2, Canada
2
Institute of Microbiology, Technische Universität Braunschweig, Braunschweig, 38106 Braunschweig, Germany
3
Institute of Population Genetics, Heinrich-Heine-University Düsseldorf, 40225 Düsseldorf, Germany
4
CEPLAS—Cluster of Excellence in Plant Sciences, Heinrich-Heine University Duesseldorf, 40225 Duesseldorf, Germany
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Genes 2019, 10(4), 310; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes10040310
Received: 27 February 2019 / Revised: 3 April 2019 / Accepted: 12 April 2019 / Published: 21 April 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Evolutionary Genetics of Gene Expression)
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Abstract

Plants are exposed to diverse abiotic and biotic stimuli. These require fast and specific integrated responses. Such responses are coordinated at the protein and transcript levels and are incorporated into larger regulatory networks. Here, we focus on the evolution of transcriptional regulatory networks involved in plant–pathogen interactions. We discuss the evolution of regulatory networks and their role in fine-tuning plant defense responses. Based on the observation that many of the cornerstones of immune signaling in angiosperms are also present in streptophyte algae, it is likely that some regulatory components also predate the origin of land plants. The degree of functional conservation of many of these ancient components has not been elucidated. However, ongoing functional analyses in bryophytes show that some components are conserved. Hence, some of these regulatory components and how they are wired may also trace back to the last common ancestor of land plants or earlier. Of course, an understanding of the similarities and differences during the evolution of plant defense networks cannot ignore the lineage-specific coevolution between plants and their pathogens. In this review, we specifically focus on the small RNA regulatory networks involved in fine-tuning of the strength and timing of defense responses and highlight examples of pathogen exploitation of the host RNA silencing system. These examples illustrate well how pathogens frequently target gene regulation and thereby alter immune responses on a larger scale. That this is effective is demonstrated by the diversity of pathogens from distinct kingdoms capable of manipulating the same gene regulatory networks, such as the RNA silencing machinery. View Full-Text
Keywords: plant evolution; gene expression; co-evolution; plant pathogens; plant–microbe interaction; molecular plant pathology; plant immunity plant evolution; gene expression; co-evolution; plant pathogens; plant–microbe interaction; molecular plant pathology; plant immunity
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
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de Vries, S.; de Vries, J.; Rose, L.E. The Elaboration of miRNA Regulation and Gene Regulatory Networks in Plant–Microbe Interactions. Genes 2019, 10, 310.

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