|Identification and characterization of drought responsive microRNAs and their target genes in cardamom (Elettaria cardamomum Maton) [Next Gen Genomics Facility]
|Year of Publication
|Anjali N., Nadiya F., Thomas J, Sabu K.K
|Plant Growth Regulation
Plant miRNAs are found to be present throughout the genome and they regulate gene expression either by cleaving mRNA or inhibiting the translational process at the post transcriptional level. Drought is one of the major limiting factors that negatively affect productivity of plants. Cardamom cultivation is having good production potential but the plants are vulnerable to biotic and abiotic stress factors. To date, nothing is known about the regulatory roles of miRNAs in response to drought stress in cardamom. Ion Torrent sequencing of two small RNA libraries prepared from control (C) and treated (T) plants raised under well irrigated and drought stressed treatments respectively created 3,938,342 and 4,083,181 primary reads. A total of 150 conserved and 20 novel microRNAs were identified from both the control and treated libraries. Discovery of 17 differentially expressed miRNAs under drought stress suggests that these miRNAs might have involved in various biological processes to improve plant tolerance to water stress. Several target genes for drought stress regulating miRNAs were identified including miR156l and miR169c which cleave the target mRNA involved in response to water deprivation. miR530b and miR156a target mRNAs which respond to water deprivation and inhibit the translational process. The expression patterns of some of the miRNAs and their targets were validated by qRT-PCR. This study is the first report of drought responsive miRNAs and their targets in cardamom. The outcome of this research could provide insights into the miRNA based regulatory mechanisms in response to drought stress in monocot plants.