Drought is a major abiotic stress that reduces rice development and yield. miRNAs are known to mediate post-transcriptional regulation under drought stress. Although the importance of individual miRNAs has been established, the cross-talks between miRNAs and mRNAs remain unearthed. In a recent study, researchers performed microarray analysis of miRNAs and matched mRNA expression profiles of drought treated rice cultivar Nipponbare.

Drought-responsive miRNA-mRNA regulations were identified by a combination of partial least square (PLS) regression approach and sequence-based target prediction. A drought-induced network with 13 miRNAs and 58 target mRNAs was constructed and four miRNA co-regulatory modules were revealed. Functional analysis suggested that drought-responsive miRNA targets were enriched in hormone signaling, lipid and carbohydrate metabolism and antioxidant defense. 13 candidate miRNAs and target genes were validated by RT-qPCR, hierarchial clustering and ROC analysis. Two target genes (DWARF-3 and P0651G05.2) of miRNA co-regulatory modules were further verified by RLM-5’ RACE.

Together, this integrative study of miRNA-mRNA interaction provided attractive candidates that will help elucidate the drought-response mechanisms in Oryza sativa.


Heat map of the 13 DE-miRNAs in drought-stressed and control rice leaves.


J Chen, L Li (2018) Multiple regression analysis reveals microRNA regulatory networks in Oryza sativa under drought stress ePub ahead of print [article]

Transcriptome Analysis Provides Insight Into How Zooplankton Clones Adapt to Harmful Algal Blooms Microarray Profiling Identifies Novel Biomarkers and Therapeutic Targets for Gastric Cancer Metastasis