A combined small RNA and transcriptome sequencing analysis reveal regulatory roles of miRNAs during anther development of Upland cotton carrying cytoplasmic male sterile Gossypium harknessii (D2) cytoplasm

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Abstract

Background: Cytoplasmic male sterility (CMS) in flowering plants is usually caused by incompatibility between mitochondrial and nuclear genomes, and can be restored by nuclear genes known as restorer-of-fertility (Rf). Although the CMS/Rf system is useful and convenient for economic production of commercial hybrid seed, the molecular mechanisms of CMS occurrence and fertility restoration in cotton are unclear. Results: Here, a combined small RNA and transcriptome sequencing analysis was performed on floral buds at the meiosis stage in three-line hybrid cotton system, and differentially expressed microRNAs (DEMs) and their target genes were identified and further analyzed for a possible involvement in CMS and fertility restoration. Totally 10 and 30 differentially expressed miRNA-target gene pairs were identified in A-B and A-R comparison group, respectively. A putative regulatory network of CMS occurrence and fertility restoration-related miRNA-target pairs during anther development were then constructed. The RLM-RACE analysis showed that gra-miR7505b regulates a PPR gene (Gh_D05G3392) by cleaving precisely at the 643nt and 748nt sites. The further analysis indicated that the sequence variation in the binding regions of Gh_D05G3392 and Gh_D05G3356 may cause a lower cleavage efficiency of the PPR genes by miR7505b and miR7505 in R line, respectively, leading to the up-regulation of the PPR genes and fertility restoration. These results have established their genetic involvement in fertility restoration in the CMS-D2 system. Conclusion: Our combined miRNA and transcriptome analysis in three-line hybrid cotton system provides new insights into the molecular mechanisms of CMS occurrence and fertility restoration, which will contribute to further hybrid breeding in cotton.

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Zhang, B., Zhang, X., Liu, G., Guo, L., Qi, T., Zhang, M., … Wu, J. (2018). A combined small RNA and transcriptome sequencing analysis reveal regulatory roles of miRNAs during anther development of Upland cotton carrying cytoplasmic male sterile Gossypium harknessii (D2) cytoplasm. BMC Plant Biology, 18(1). https://doi.org/10.1186/s12870-018-1446-7

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