• Chen J. (2018) Multiple Regression Analysis Reveals MicroRNA Regulatory Networks in Oryza sativa under Drought Stress. International Journal of Genomics 2018, 9395261.

Drought is a major abiotic stress that reduces rice development and yield. miRNAs (microRNAs) are known to mediate posttranscriptional regulation under drought stress. Although the importance of individual miRNAs has been established, the crosstalks between miRNAs and mRNAs remain unearthed. Here we 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 a 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 coregulatory modules were revealed. Functional analysis suggested that drought-response miRNA targets are enriched in hormone signaling, lipid and carbohydrate metabolism, and antioxidant defense. 13 candidate miRNAs and target genes were validated by RT-qPCR, hierarchical clustering, and ROC analysis. Two target genes (DWARF-3 and P0651G05.2) of miRNA coregulatory modules were further verified by RLM-5′ RACE. Together, our integrative study of miRNA-mRNA interaction provided attractive candidates that will help elucidate the drought-response mechanisms in Oryza sativa.

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