Study : Alternaria brassicicola infection regulates miRNAs in Arabidopsis thaliana [sRNA]


Alternaria brassicicola infection regulates miRNAs in Arabidopsis thaliana [sRNA]
Plant microRNAs (miRNAs) have been implicated in plant immunity. These mainly focusing Arabidopsis thaliana threatened by (hemi-)biotrophic pathogens such as the bacterial pathogen Pseudomonas syringae. Here, we show that the Arabidopsis miRNA pathway is important for defense responses against the necrotrophic fungus Alternaria brassicicola. The miRNA pathway mutant ago1 exhibits an exaggerated response when treated with A. brassicicola, proposing that AGO1 is positive regulator. We found a subset of Arabidopsis miRNAs that quickly change their expression and their abundance in AGO1 complexes in plants exposed to A. brassicicola. The miRNAs responding to pathogen treatment are mainly targeting genes encoding metabolic enzymes, proteins involved protein degradation or transposons. In case of miR163, A. brassicicola infection results in increased levels of miRNA precursors and preferential accumulation of an unspliced form of pri-miR163, suggesting that A. brassicicola infection changes the transcriptional and post-regulation of pri-miRNAs. miR163 acts as a negative regulator of plant defense because mir163 mutants are more resistant when treated with A. brassicicola. Taken together, our results reveal the existence of positively and negatively acting Arabidopsis miRNA modulating the defense responses against A. brassicicola and highlight the importance of host miRNAs in the interaction between plants and necrotrophic pathogens. Overall design: small RNA sequencing from untreated, mock treated and Alternaria brassicicola treated plants (3 biological replicates each). AGO1-immunoprecipitated sRNAs also sequenced.


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