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Puccinia striiformis f. sp. tritici microRNA‐like RNA 1 (Pst‐milR1), an important pathogenicity factor of Pst, impairs wheat resistance to Pst by suppressing the wheat pathogenesis‐related 2 gene

Wang, Bing, Sun, Yanfei, Song, Na, Zhao, Mengxin, Liu, Rui, Feng, Hao, Wang, Xiaojie, Kang, Zhensheng
The new phytologist 2017 v.215 no.1 pp. 338-350
Puccinia striiformis f. tritici, RNA, RNA interference, Triticum aestivum, genes, immune response, pathogens, prediction, stripe rust, virulence, wheat
Small RNAs (sRNAs), an important type of pathogenicity factor, contribute to impairing host immune responses. However, little is known about sRNAs in Puccinia striiformis f. sp. tritici (Pst), one of the most destructive pathogens of wheat (Triticum aestivum L.). Here, we report a novel microRNA‐like RNA (milRNA) from Pst termed microRNA‐like RNA 1 (Pst‐milR1), which suppresses wheat defenses during wheat–Pst interactions. We identified Pst‐milR1 as a novel milRNA in Pst. Biological prediction and co‐transformation showed that Pst‐milR1 takes part in cross‐kingdom RNA interference (RNAi) events by binding the wheat pathogenesis‐related 2 (PR2) gene. Silencing of the Pst‐milR1 precursor resulted in increased wheat resistance to the virulent Pst isolate CYR31. PR2 knock‐down plants increased the susceptibility of wheat to the avirulent Pst isolate CYR23. This suggests that Pst‐milR1 represses the plant immune response by suppressing the expression of PR2. Taking our findings together, we postulate that Pst‐milR1 is an important pathogenicity factor in Pst, which acts as an effector to suppress host immunity. Our results provide significant new insights into the pathogenicity of the stripe rust pathogen.