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Accession IconSRP029451

Zea mays Transcriptome or Gene expression

Organism Icon Zea mays
Sample Icon 10 Downloadable Samples
Technology Badge IconIllumina Genome Analyzer IIx, Illumina HiSeq 2000

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Maize LEAFBLADELESS1 (LBL1) and Arabidopsis SUPPRESSOR OF GENE SILENCING3 (SGS3) play orthologous roles in the biogenesis of 21 nucleotide trans-acting short-interfering RNAs (tasiRNAs). The phenotypes conditioned by mutation of lbl1 and SGS3 are, however, strikingly different, suggesting that the activities of these small RNA biogenesis components, or the tasiRNAs and their targets might not be entirely conserved. To investigate the basis for this phenotypic variation, we compared the small RNA content between wild-type and lbl1 seedling apices. We show that LBL1 affects all major classes of small RNAs, and reveal unexpected crosstalk between tasiRNA biogenesis and other small RNA pathways regulating miRNAs, retrotransposons, and DNA transposons. We further identified genomic regions generating phased siRNAs, including numerous loci generating 22-nt phased small RNAs from long hairpin RNAs or overlapping antisense transcripts not previously described in other plant species. By combining both analyses, we identified nine TAS loci, all belonging to the conserved TAS3 family. Contrary to other plant species, no TAS loci targeted by a single miRNA were identified. Information from target prediction, RNAseq, and PARE analyses identified the tasiARFs as the major functional tasiRNAs in the maize vegetative apex where they regulate expression of ARF3 homologs. As such, divergence in TAS pathways is unlikely to account for the distinct phenotypes of tasiRNA biogenesis mutants in Arabidopsis and maize. Instead, the data suggests variation in the spatiotemporal regulation of ARF3, or divergence in its function, as a plausible basis for the dramatic phenotypic differences observed upon mutation of SGS3/lbl1 in Arabidopsis and maize. Overall design: An analysis of tasiRNA biogenesis, activity, and contribution to developmental phenotypes in the maize leaf. Data generated includes small RNA sequencing data and mRNA sequencing data. All data was generated in both wild type and lbl1 mutant maize leaf apices. Three replicates were generated for each genotype for the small RNA data. Two of these replicates were also used for the RNA-seq data.
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