Identification of MiRNAs expressed in arabidopsis pollen using MiRNA array technology
Pollen plays an important role in plant production. During pollen development, each grain is developed in the anther from pollen mother cells through a combination of meiosis and mitosis. Pollen grains contain the genes necessary for pollen germination, pollen tube growth, as well as interactions between the pollen grain and the female reproductive organ. In this perspective, an understanding of gene regulation in pollen is imperative component of an understanding plant reproductive biology. Plant reproduction is quickly becoming a field of necessity when one considers the potential move from petroleum based fuels to biofuels. One of the questions of interest is how gene expression is regulated in pollen. This research project is geared towards examining the post‐transcriptional regulatory pathway, especially RNA silencing pathways, also known as RNA interference (RNAi), in regulatory gene expression in mature pollen grains. Here we focus particularly on a type of small RNSs called microRNAs(miRNAs) expressed in mature pollen. MiRNAs are encoded by an organism's genome, and are primarily involved in regulating gene expression in developmental processes. To determine the miRNAs that a represent in pollen, we have conducted a miRNA array experiment using miRCURY LNA array from Exiqon. The array experiments, performed by Exiqon using total RNAs extracted from mature pollen and inflorescence samples, have indicated that there are over 20 known miRNAs that are differentially expressed. These experiments provide the first insight regarding miRNAs. Further experiments are planned to examine the function of these miRNAs and look for potential new pollen specific miRNAs.
Second place winner of oral presentations in the Natural Science/Engineering section at the 8th Annual Undergraduate Research and Creative Activity Forum (URCAF) held at the Eugene Hughes Metropolitan Complex , Wichita State University, April 25, 2008