- Zeng J. (2019) Identification of microRNAs and their targets responding to low-potassium stress in two barley genotypes differing in low-K tolerance. Journal of Plant Physiology 234-235, 44-53.
MicroRNAs (miRNAs) have diverse and crucial roles in plant growth and development, including in the response to abiotic stresses. Although plant responses to K deficiency are well documented at the physiological and transcriptional levels, the miRNA-mediated post-transcriptional pathways are still not clearly elucidated. In this study, high-throughput sequencing and degradome analysis were performed using two barley genotypes differing in low-K tolerance (XZ149, tolerant and ZD9, sensitive), to determine the genotypic difference in miRNAs profiling. A total of 270 miRNAs were detected in the roots of XZ149 and ZD9 at 2 d and 10 d after low-K treatment, of which 195 were commonly found in both genotypes. Their targets were further investigated by bioinformatics prediction and degradome sequencing approach. The results showed that ata-miR1432-5p might act as a regulator participating in Ca2+ signaling pathways in response to low-K stress. The difference in the miR444/MADS-box model as well as pathways mediated by miR319/TCP4 and miR396/GRF could be attributed to high tolerance to low-K stress in XZ149. In addition, other conserved and novel miRNAs families associated with low-K tolerance were also detected. The current results provide molecular evidence for understanding the possible involvement of miRNAs in the regulation of low-K tolerance.