The effects of carbon dioxide and temperature on microRNA expression in Arabidopsis development

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May, Patrick
Liao, Will
Wu, Yijin
Shuai, Bin
McCombie, W. Richard
Zhang, Michael Q.
Liu, Qiong A.

May, Patrick; Liao, Will; Wu, Yijin; Shuai, Bin; McCombie, W. Richard; Zhang, Michael Q.; Liu, Qiong A.. 2013. The effects of carbon dioxide and temperature on microRNA expression in Arabidopsis development. Nature Communications, v.4:no.2145


Elevated levels of CO2 and temperature can both affect plant growth and development, but the signalling pathways regulating these processes are still obscure. MicroRNAs function to silence gene expression, and environmental stresses can alter their expressions. Here we identify, using the small RNA-sequencing method, microRNAs that change significantly in expression by either doubling the atmospheric CO2 concentration or by increasing temperature 3-6 degrees C. Notably, nearly all CO2-influenced microRNAs are affected inversely by elevated temperature. Using the RNA-sequencing method, we determine strongly correlated expression changes between miR156/157 and miR172, and their target transcription factors under elevated CO2 concentration. Similar correlations are also found for microRNAs acting in auxin-signalling, stress responses and potential cell wall carbohydrate synthesis. Our results demonstrate that both CO2 and temperature alter microRNA expression to affect Arabidopsis growth and development, and miR156/157- and miR172-regulated transcriptional network might underlie the onset of early flowering induced by increasing CO2.

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