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Discovery and profiling of small RNAs from Puccinia triticina by deep sequencing and identification of their potential targets in wheat

Dubey, Himanshu, Kiran, Kanti, Jaswal, Rajdeep, Jain, Priyanka, Kayastha, Arvind M, Bhardwaj, Subhash C, Mondal, Tapan Kumar, Sharma, Tilak Raj
Functional & integrative genomics 2019 v.19 no.3 pp. 391-407
Botrytis cinerea, Puccinia recondita, Puccinia striiformis f. tritici, RNA, RNA interference, apoptosis, disease resistance, fungi, genes, high-throughput nucleotide sequencing, host-pathogen relationships, pathogens, phenotype, phosphotransferases (kinases), prediction, quantitative polymerase chain reaction, reactive oxygen species, reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction, transcription factors, virulence, wheat
Cross-kingdom RNAi is a well-documented phenomenon where sRNAs generated by host and pathogens may govern resistance or susceptible phenotypes during host-pathogen interaction. With the first example of the direct involvement of fungal generated sRNAs in virulence of plant pathogenic fungi Botrytis cinerea and recently from Puccinia striiformis f. sp. tritici, we attempted to identify sRNAs in Puccinia triticina (P. triticina). Four sRNA libraries were prepared and sequenced using Illumina sequencing technology and a total of ~ 1–1.28 million potential sRNAs and two microRNA-like small RNA (mil-RNAs) candidates were identified. Computational prediction of targets using a common set of sRNAs and P. triticina mil-RNAs (pt-mil-RNAs) within P. triticina and wheat revealed the majority of the targets as repetitive elements in P. triticina whereas in wheat, the target genes were identified to be involved in many biological processes including defense-related pathways. We found 9 receptor-like kinases (RLKs) and 14 target genes of each related to reactive oxygen species (ROS) pathway and transcription factors respectively, including significant numbers of target genes from various other categories. Expression analysis of twenty selected sRNAs, targeting host genes pertaining to ROS related, disease resistance, metabolic processes, transporter, apoptotic inhibitor, and transcription factors along with two pt-mil-RNAs by qRT-PCR showed distinct patterns of expression of the sRNAs in urediniospore-specific libraries. In this study, for the first time, we report identification of novel sRNAs identified in P. triticina including two pt-mil-RNAs that may play an important role in biotrophic growth and pathogenicity.