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BMC Genomics

, 16:896

Plant genomics


BackgroundPaulownia witches’ broom PaWB is a fatal disease of Paulownia caused by a phytoplasma. In previous studies, we found that plants with PaWB symptoms would revert to a healthy morphology after methyl methane sulfonate MMS treatment. To completely understand the gene expression profiles of the Paulownia-phytoplasma interaction, three high-throughput sequencing technologies were used to investigate changes of gene expression and microRNAs miRNAs in healthy Paulownia tomentosa plantlets, PaWB-infected plantlets, and PaWB-infected plantlets treated with 60 mg · L MMS.

MethodsTranscriptome, miRNAs and degradome sequencing were performed to explore the global gene expression profiles in the process of Paulownia tomentosa with phytoplasma infection.

ResultsA total of 98,714 all-unigenes, 62 conserved miRNAs, and 35 novel miRNAs were obtained, among which 902 differentially expressed genes DEGs and 24 miRNAs were found to be associated with PaWB disease. Subsequently, the target genes of these miRNAs were predicted by degradome sequencing. Interestingly, we found that 19 target genes of these differentially expressed miRNAs were among the 902 DEGs. The targets of pau-miR156g, pau-miR403, and pau-miR166c were significantly up-regulated in the P. tomentosa plantlets infected with phytoplasma. Interaction of miRNA -target genes mediated gene expression related to PaWB were identified.

ConclusionsThe results elucidated the possible roles of the regulation of genes and miRNAs in the Paulownia-phytoplasma interaction, which will enrich our understanding of the mechanisms of PaWB disease in this plant.

KeywordsPaulownia witches’ broom Transcriptome microRNAs Degradome Gene expression Electronic supplementary materialThe online version of this article doi:10.1186-s12864-015-2074-3 contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.

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Autor: Guoqiang Fan - Xibing Cao - Suyan Niu - Minjie Deng - Zhenli Zhao - Yanpeng Dong


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