MiRNA sequencing profiles revealed that 34 conserved miRNA families were analogous between the two species. Drought altered expression levels of several of these miRNAs in both the species. Drought-tolerant I. campanulata showed upregulation of miR398, miR168, miR858, miR162 and miR408, while miR394 and miR171 were downregulated.
Drought-sensitive J. pentantha showed upregulation of miR394, miR156, miR160, miR164, miR167, miR172, miR319, miR395, miR396, miR403 and downregulation of miR157.
Overall, basal miRNA levels and their drought mediated regulation were very different between the two species. It’s believed that the differential drought sensitivities of these two plant species can be attributed to these innate variations in miRNA levels and their expression.