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A large‐scale circular RNA profiling reveals universal molecular mechanisms responsive to drought stress in maize and Arabidopsis

信息来源:     发布时间:2019-03-14

First published: 04 February 2019

Summary

Drought is a major abiotic stress that threatens global food security. Circular RNAs (circRNAs) are endogenous RNAs. How these molecules influence plant stress responses remains elusive. Here, a large‐scale circRNA profiling identified 2174and 1354high‐confidence circRNAs in maize and Arabidopsis, respectively, and most were differentially expressed in response to drought. A substantial number of drought‐associated circRNA‐hosting genes were involved in conserved or species‐specific pathways in drought responses. Comparative analysis revealed that circRNA biogenesis was more complex in maize than in Arabidopsis. In most cases, maize circRNAs were negatively correlated with sRNA accumulation. In 368 maize inbred lines, the circRNA‐hosting genes were enriched for single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) associated with circRNA expression and drought tolerance, implying either important roles of circRNAs in maize drought responses or their potential use as biomarkers for breeding drought‐tolerant maize. Additionally, the expression levels of circRNAs derived from drought‐responsible genes encoding calcium‐dependent protein kinase and cytokinin oxidase/dehydrogenase were significantly associated with drought tolerance of maize seedlings. Specifically, Arabidopsis plants overexpressing circGORK (Guard cell outward‐rectifying K+‐channel) were hypersensitive to abscisic acid, but insensitive to drought, suggesting a positive role of circGORK in drought tolerance. We report the transcriptomic profiling and transgenic studies of circRNAs in plant drought responses, and provide evidence highlighting the universal molecular mechanisms involved in plant drought tolerance.

Full Paper: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/tpj.14267

 


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