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Identification of microRNAs and their gene targets in cytoplasmic male sterile and fertile maintainer lines of pigeonpea

Bohra, A., Gandham, P., Rathore, A., Thakur, V., Saxena, R.K., Naik, S.J.S., Varshney, R.K.ORCID: 0000-0002-4562-9131 and Singh, N.P. (2021) Identification of microRNAs and their gene targets in cytoplasmic male sterile and fertile maintainer lines of pigeonpea. Planta, 253 (2). Art. 59.

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Exploitation of hybrid vigor using CMS technology has delivered nearly 50% yield gain in pigeonpea. Among various sterility-inducing cytoplasms (A1–A9) reported so far in pigeonpea, A2 and A4 are the two major sources that facilitate hybrid seed production. Recent evidence suggests involvement of micro RNA in vast array of biological processes including plant reproductive development. In pigeonpea, information about the miRNAs is insufficient. In view of this, we sequenced six small RNA libraries of CMS line UPAS 120A and isogenic fertile line UPAS 120B using Illumina technology. Results revealed 316 miRNAs including 248 known and 68 novel types. A total of 637 gene targets were predicted for known miRNAs, while 324 genes were associated with novel miRNAs. Degradome analysis revealed 77 gene targets of predicted miRNAs, which included a variety of transcription factors playing key roles in plant reproduction such as F-box family proteins, apetala 2, auxin response factors, ethylene-responsive factors, homeodomain-leucine zipper proteins etc. Differential expression of both known and novel miRNAs implied roles for both conserved as well as species-specific players. We also obtained several miRNA families such as miR156, miR159, miR167 that are known to influence crucial aspects of plant fertility. Gene ontology and pathway level analyses of the target genes showed their possible implications for crucial events during male reproductive development such as tapetal degeneration, pollen wall formation, retrograde signaling etc. To the best of our knowledge, present study is first to combine deep sequencing of small RNA and degradome for elucidating the role of miRNAs in flower and male reproductive development in pigeonpea.

Item Type: Journal Article
Publisher: Springer-Verlag
Copyright: © 2021 Springer Nature Switzerland AG.
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