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- Non-Coding RNA
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- National Science Foundation
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Plants are subjected to extreme environmental conditions and must adapt rapidly. The phytohormone abscisic acid (ABA) accumulates during abiotic stress, signaling transcriptional changes that trigger physiological responses. Epigenetic modifications often facilitate transcription, particularly at genes exhibiting temporal, tissue-specific and environmentally-induced expression. In maize ( Zea mays ), MEDIATOR OF PARAMUTATION 1 (MOP1) is required for progression of an RNA-dependent epigenetic pathway that regulates transcriptional silencing of loci genomewide. MOP1 function has been previously correlated with genomic regions adjoining particular types of transposable elements and genic regions, suggesting that this regulatory pathway functions to maintain distinct transcriptional activities within genomic spaces, and that loss of MOP1 may modify the responsiveness of some loci to other regulatory pathways. As critical regulators of gene expression, MOP1 and ABA pathways each regulate specific genes. To determine whether loss of MOP1 impacts ABA-responsive gene expression in maize, mop1-1 and Mop1 homozygous seedlings were subjected to exogenous ABA and RNA-sequencing. A total of 3,242 differentially expressed genes (DEGs) were identified in four pairwise comparisons. Overall, ABA-induced changes in gene expression were enhanced in mop1-1 homozygous plants. The highest number of DEGs were identified in ABA-induced mop1-1 mutants, including many transcription factors; this suggests combinatorial regulatory scenariosmore »
The RNA interference (RNAi) triggered by short/small interfering RNA (siRNA) was discovered in nematodes and found to function in most living organisms. RNAi has been widely used as a research tool to study gene functions and has shown great potential for the development of novel pest management strategies. RNAi is highly efficient and systemic in coleopterans but highly variable or inefficient in many other insects. Differences in double-stranded RNA (dsRNA) degradation, cellular uptake, inter- and intracellular transports, processing of dsRNA to siRNA, and RNA-induced silencing complex formation influence RNAi efficiency. The basic dsRNA delivery methods include microinjection, feeding, and soaking. To improve dsRNA delivery, various new technologies, including cationic liposome–assisted, nanoparticle-enabled, symbiont-mediated, and plant-mediated deliveries, have been developed. Major challenges to widespread use of RNAi in insect pest management include variable RNAi efficiency among insects, lack of reliable dsRNA delivery methods, off-target and nontarget effects, and potential development of resistance in insect populations.
Integrated omics reveal novel functions and underlying mechanisms of the receptor kinase FERONIA in Arabidopsis thaliana
The receptor kinase FERONIA (FER) is a versatile regulator of plant growth and development, biotic and abiotic stress responses, and reproduction. To gain new insights into the molecular interplay of these processes and to identify new FER functions, we carried out quantitative transcriptome, proteome, and phosphoproteome profiling of Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana) wild-type and fer-4 loss-of-function mutant plants. Gene ontology terms for phytohormone signaling, abiotic stress, and biotic stress were significantly enriched among differentially expressed transcripts, differentially abundant proteins, and/or misphosphorylated proteins, in agreement with the known roles for FER in these processes. Analysis of multiomics data and subsequent experimental evidence revealed previously unknown functions for FER in endoplasmic reticulum (ER) body formation and glucosinolate biosynthesis. FER functions through the transcription factor NAI1 to mediate ER body formation. FER also negatively regulates indole glucosinolate biosynthesis, partially through NAI1. Furthermore, we found that a group of abscisic acid (ABA)-induced transcription factors is hypophosphorylated in the fer-4 mutant and demonstrated that FER acts through the transcription factor ABA INSENSITIVE5 (ABI5) to negatively regulate the ABA response during cotyledon greening. Our integrated omics study, therefore, reveals novel functions for FER and provides new insights into the underlying mechanisms of FER function.
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