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Accession IconSRP007610

miRNAs target conserved motifs of diverse genes encoding NB-LRRs to trigger trans-acting siRNAs in legumes.

Organism Icon Phaseolus vulgaris, Medicago truncatula, Glycine max, Arachis hypogaea
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Technology Badge IconIllumina Genome Analyzer II

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Trans-acting siRNAs (tasiRNAs) negatively regulate target transcripts and are characterized by siRNAs spaced in 21-nucleotide 'phased' intervals. TasiRNAs have not been extensively described in many plant species. We identified dozens of new miRNAs in Medicago and soybean and confirmed 119 Medicago targets. A search for phased tasiRNA-like small RNAs ('phasiRNAs') found at least 114 Medicago loci, the majority of which were NB-LRR encoding genes. Notably, conserved domains in NB-LRR-encoding RNAs are targeted by several 22-nt miRNA families to trigger phasiRNA production. DCL2 and SGS3 transcripts were also cleaved by these 22-nt miRNAs, generating phased small RNAs, suggesting synchronization between silencing and pathogen defense pathways. A second example of 'two-hit' phasiRNA processing was identified, utilizing miR156-miR172 sites. Our data illustrate a complex tasiRNA-mediated regulatory circuit that potentially modulates plant-microbe interactions. A few miRNA triggers regulate an extremely large gene family by targeting highly conserved protein motif-encoding sequences, representing a new paradigm for miRNA function. Overall design: Examination of different tissue types in legumes (Medicago, soybean, common bean, peanut) by high throughput sequencing for small RNA profiling
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