Major difference in short RNA populations among plants - the results of interaction with pathogen?
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
Small RNA (sRNA) including miRNA and siRNA are important in the regulation of diverse biological processes. Comparative studies of sRNA from plants have mainly focused on miRNA even though this group in most cases is just a mere fraction of the total sRNA diversity. In the present study we report results from an in-depth analysis of the sRNA population from the conifer Picea abies and compared the results to those of a range of species from the plant kingdom. The vast majority of sRNA in P. abies was 21 nucleotides long siRNA, of which a large fraction originate from degradation of transcribed sequences related to TIR-NBS-LRR (Toll/Interleukin-1-Nucleotide Binding Site-Leucine Rich Repeats) type resistance genes. Over 90% of all genes predicted to contain either a TIR or an NBS domain showed evidence of siRNA degradation. Data further suggests that those phased siRNA are initiated from miRNA guided cleavage, often by an abundant 22 nt miRNA. Comparative analysis over a range of divergent plant species revealed a large variation between species in the abundance of this phenomenon. The process seemed to be virtually absent in several species, including Arabidopsis thaliana, Oryza sativa and non-vascular plants, while particularly high frequencies were observed in Vitis vinifera and Populus thrichocarpa. This divergent pattern between species might reflect a mechanism to limit runaway transcription of these genes in species with rapidly expanding NBS-LRR gene families. Alternatively it might reflect variation in a counter-counter defence mechanism partly affected by differences in life history traits, e.g. perennial versus annual life cycles. A major difference between annuals and perennials, affecting the evolution of resistance, is that perennials will with almost certainty encounter many different pathogens before reproduction, and that the long generation times confers problems in matching the evolutionary rates of the pathogens.
Evolutionary Biology Genetics
Research subject Biology with specialization in Evolutionary Functional Genomics
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-177475OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-177475DiVA: diva2:541009