Sweet potato (Impomoea batatas L.) is a globally important economic food crop with the potential to become a bioenergy and pharmaceutical crop. Thus, studying the molecular mechanism of tuberous root development and storage is very important. A recent study employed next generation high-throughput deep sequencing technology to sequence all small RNAs and the degradome of sweet potato to systematically investigate sweet potato response to chilling stress during storage.

A total of 190 known microRNAs (miRNAs) and 191 novel miRNAs were identified, and 428 transcripts were targeted by 184 identified miRNAs. More importantly, scientists identified 26 miRNAs differentially expressed between chilling stress and control conditions. The expression of these miRNAs and their targets was also confirmed by qRT-PCR. Integrated analysis of small RNAs and degradome sequencing revealed that miRNA-mediated SA signaling, ABA-dependent, and ROS response pathways are involved in sweet potato root response to chilling stress during storage.

Conservation of the identified miRNA with other species in sweetpotato. The X axis is the count of miRNAs, the Y axis represents the name of the species in miRBase21. Red bar plot showing the miRNA number of the species in miRBase21, blue bar plot showing the miRNA number identified both in sweetpotato and in the species in comparison.


Z. Xie, A. Wang, H. Li, J. Yu, Y. Han, Z. Li et al. (2017) High throughput deep sequencing reveals the important roles of microRNAs during sweetpotato storage at chilling temperature Scientific Reports. doi: 10.1038/s41598-017-16871-8 [article]

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