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Accession IconSRP121333

microRNA-triggered transposon small RNAs mediate genome dosage response (RNA-Seq)

Organism Icon Arabidopsis thaliana
Sample Icon 2 Downloadable Samples
Technology Badge IconIllumina HiSeq 2500

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Chromosome dosage plays a significant role in reproductive isolation and speciation in both plants and animals, but underlying mechanisms are largely obscure. Transposable elements can promote hybridity through maternal small RNA, and have been postulated to regulate dosage response via neighboring imprinted genes. Here, we show that a highly conserved microRNA in plants, miR845, targets the tRNAMet primer-binding site (PBS) of LTR-retrotransposons in Arabidopsis pollen, and triggers the accumulation of 21 to 22-nucleotide small RNA in a dose dependent fashion via RNA polymerase IV. We show that these epigenetically activated small-interfering RNAs (easiRNAs) mediate hybridization barriers between diploid seed parents and tetraploid pollen parents (“the triploid block”), and that natural variation for miR845 may account for “endosperm balance” allowing formation of triploid seeds. Targeting the PBS with small RNA is a common mechanism for transposon control in mammals and plants, and provides a uniquely sensitive means to monitor chromosome dosage and imprinting in the developing seed. Overall design: RNA-seq of Arabidopsis pollen
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