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MicroRNA–target gene responses to lead-induced stress in cotton (Gossypium hirsutum L.)

He, Qiuling, Zhu, Shuijin, Zhang, Baohong
Functional & integrative genomics 2014 v.14 no.3 pp. 507-515
Gossypium hirsutum, abiotic stress, cotton, genes, heavy metals, lead, leaves, microRNA, plant adaptation, plant response, quantitative polymerase chain reaction, reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction, roots
MicroRNAs (miRNAs) play key roles in plant responses to various metal stresses. To investigate the miRNA-mediated plant response to heavy metals, cotton (Gossypium hirsutum L.), the most important fiber crop in the world, was exposed to different concentrations (0, 25, 50, 100, and 200 µM) of lead (Pb) and then the toxicological effects were investigated. The expression patterns of 16 stress-responsive miRNAs and 10 target genes were monitored in cotton leaves and roots by quantitative real-time PCR (qRT-PCR); of these selected genes, several miRNAs and their target genes are involved in root development. The results show a reciprocal regulation of cotton response to lead stress by miRNAs. The characterization of the miRNAs and the associated target genes in response to lead exposure would help in defining the potential roles of miRNAs in plant adaptation to heavy metal stress and further understanding miRNA regulation in response to abiotic stress.