Biotech Updates

Sp-miR396a-5p Confers Tolerance to Abiotic Stresses and Susceptibility to Phytophthora nicotianae in Transgenic Tobacco

December 2, 2015

MicroRNA396 (miR396) is a microRNA family in plants which targets growth-regulating factors (GRFs). However, the mechanisms of response of miR396 to stresses remain elusive.

The team of Lei Chen of the Dalian University of Technology in China explored the function of tomato miR396a-5p (Sp-miR396a-5p) in Solanaceae responses to stresses. In tomato, Sp-miR396a-5p transcript levels were upregulated under salt and drought stresses and downregulated after Phytophthora infestans infection.

Overexpression of Sp-miR396a-5p in tobacco (Nicotiana tabaccum) enhanced its tolerance to salt, drought and cold stresses but showed increased susceptibility to Phytophthora nicotianae infection. Analysis revealed that Sp-miR396a-5p overexpression enhanced osmoregulation and decreased the production of reactive oxygen species (ROS).

Results indicate that Sp-miR396a-5p plays critical roles in both abiotic stresses and pathogen infection.

For more information, read the article in Plant Cell Reports.