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MicroRNA159 Can Act as a Switch or Tuning MicroRNA Independently of Its Abundance in Arabidopsis

Alonso-Peral, Maria M.; Sun, Cheng; Millar, Anthony A.

Description

The efficacy of gene silencing by plant microRNAs (miRNAs) is generally assumed to be predominantly determined by their abundance. In Arabidopsis the highly abundant miRNA, miR159, acts as a molecular "switch" in vegetative tissues completely silencing the expression of two GAMYB-like genes, MYB33 and MYB65. Here, we show that miR159 has a diminished silencing efficacy in the seed. Using reporter gene constructs, we determined that MIR159 and MYB33 are co-transcribed in the aleurone and embryo...[Show more]

dc.contributor.authorAlonso-Peral, Maria M.
dc.contributor.authorSun, Cheng
dc.contributor.authorMillar, Anthony A.
dc.date.accessioned2015-11-25T05:07:04Z
dc.date.available2015-11-25T05:07:04Z
dc.identifier.issn1932-6203
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/1885/16801
dc.description.abstractThe efficacy of gene silencing by plant microRNAs (miRNAs) is generally assumed to be predominantly determined by their abundance. In Arabidopsis the highly abundant miRNA, miR159, acts as a molecular "switch" in vegetative tissues completely silencing the expression of two GAMYB-like genes, MYB33 and MYB65. Here, we show that miR159 has a diminished silencing efficacy in the seed. Using reporter gene constructs, we determined that MIR159 and MYB33 are co-transcribed in the aleurone and embryo of germinating seeds. However in contrast to vegetative tissues, MYB33 is not completely silenced. Instead, miR159 appears to shape the spatio-temporal expression pattern of MYB33 during seed germination. Transcript profiling in a time course during seed germination in wild-type and a mir159 mutant in which miR159 is almost absent, revealed that transcript levels of the GAMYB-like genes were similar between these two genotypes during germination, but much higher in the mir159 mutant once germination had completed. This attenuation in the silencing of the GAMYB-like genes was not explained by a decrease in mature miR159 levels, which remained constant at all time points during seed germination. We propose that miR159 acts as a tuner of GAMYB-like levels in Arabidopsis germinating seeds and that the activity of this miRNA is attenuated in the seed compared to vegetative tissues. This implies that the efficacy of miRNA-mediated silencing is not solely determined by miRNA abundance and target transcript levels, but is being determined through additional mechanisms.
dc.description.sponsorshipThis research was supported by an Australian Research Council (http://www.arc.gov.au/default.htm) grant DP0773270. The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.
dc.publisherPublic Library of Science
dc.rights© 2012 Alonso-Peral et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
dc.sourcePLoS ONE
dc.subjectarabidopsis
dc.subjectarabidopsis proteins
dc.subjectgenes, reporter
dc.subjectgermination
dc.subjectmicrornas
dc.subjectseeds
dc.subjecttranscription factors
dc.subjectgene silencing
dc.titleMicroRNA159 Can Act as a Switch or Tuning MicroRNA Independently of Its Abundance in Arabidopsis
dc.typeJournal article
local.description.notesImported from ARIES
local.identifier.citationvolume7
dc.date.issued2012-04-12
local.identifier.absfor060702
local.identifier.ariespublicationf5625xPUB2212
local.type.statusPublished Version
local.contributor.affiliationAlonso Peral, Maria, College of Medicine, Biology and Environment, CMBE Research School of Biology, Division of Plant Sciences, The Australian National University
local.contributor.affiliationSun, Cheng, College of Medicine, Biology and Environment, CMBE Research School of Biology, Biology Teaching & Learning Centre, The Australian National University
local.contributor.affiliationMillar, Anthony, College of Medicine, Biology and Environment, CMBE Research School of Biology, Division of Plant Sciences, The Australian National University
dc.relationhttp://purl.org/au-research/grants/arc/DP0773270
local.identifier.essn1932-6203
local.bibliographicCitation.issue4
local.bibliographicCitation.startpagee34751
local.identifier.doi10.1371/journal.pone.0034751
local.identifier.absseo970106
local.identifier.absseo829999
dc.date.updated2015-12-10T11:52:27Z
local.identifier.scopusID2-s2.0-84869825304
local.identifier.thomsonID000305338600049
CollectionsANU Research Publications

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