Authors: ERCAN SELÇUK ÜNLÜ, SARA BATAW, DİDEM ŞEN, YUNUS ŞAHİN, NUSRET ZENCİRCİ
Abstract: Triticum monococcum subsp. monococcum as a first cultivated diploid wheat species possesses desirable agronomic and quality characteristics. Drought and salinity are the most dramatic environmental stress factors that have serious impact on yield and quality of crops; however, plants can use alternative defense mechanisms against these stresses. The posttranscriptional alteration of gene expression by microRNAs (miRNAs) is one of the most conserved mechanisms. In plant species including wheat genomes, miRNAs have been implicated in the management of salt and drought stress; however, studies on einkorn wheat (Triticum monococcum subsp. monococcum) are not yet available. In this study, we aimed to identify conserved miRNAs in einkorn wheat using next generation sequencing technology and bioinformatics analysis. In order to include a larger set of miRNAs, small RNA molecules from pooled plant samples grown under normal, drought, and salinity conditions were used for the library preparation and sequence analysis. After bioinformatics analysis, we identified 167 putative mature miRNA sequences belonging to 140 distinct miRNA families. We also presented a comparative analysis to propose that miRNAs and their target genes were involved in salt and drought stress control in addition to a comprehensive analysis of the scanned target genes in the T. aestivum genome.
Keywords: microRNA, wheat, Perl, Mfold, small RNAs
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