• Zhang M. (2019) The miRNA-Mediated Post-Transcriptional Regulation of Maize in Response to High Temperature. International Journal of Molecular Sciences 20(7),

High temperature (HT) has recently become one of the most important abiotic stresses restricting crop production worldwide. MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are important regulators in plant development and stress responses. However, knowledge of miRNAs of maize in response to HT is limited. In this study, we simultaneously adopted miRNA sequencing and transcriptome profiling to analyze the differential expression of miRNAs and mRNAs in maize during exposure to HT stress. Our analysis revealed 61 known miRNAs belonging to 26 miRNA families and 42 novel miRNAs showing significant differential expression, with the majority being downregulated. Meanwhile, the expression of 5450 mRNAs was significantly altered in the same stressed tissues. Differentially expressed transcripts were most significantly associated with response to stress, photosynthesis, biosynthesis of secondary metabolites, and signal transduction pathways. In addition, we discovered 129 miRNA–mRNA pairs that were regulated antagonistically, and further depiction of the targeted mRNAs indicated that several transcription factors, protein kinases, and receptor-like-protein-related transmembrane transport and signaling transduction were profoundly affected. This study has identified potential key regulators of HT-stress response in maize and the subset of genes that are likely to be post-transcriptionally regulated by miRNAs under HT stress.

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