Identification of conserved Aquilegia coerulea microRNAs and their targets

Gene. 2009 Dec 1;448(1):46-56. doi: 10.1016/j.gene.2009.08.005. Epub 2009 Aug 19.


Aquilegia is an emerging model organism that is phylogenetically intermediate between the core eudicot and monocot models, Arabidopsis and Oryza. In this study, we have used a comparative genomics approach to identify 45 Aquilegia microRNAs that comprise 20 separate plant microRNA families. We have predicted 84 targets of these newly identified Aquilegia microRNAs including transcription factors and loci involved in metabolism, stress responses, transport, and auxin signaling. microRNA families from 16 plant species and the newly identified microRNAs from Aquilegia were analyzed in a phylogenetic context revealing 40 distantly conserved microRNA families. In addition to these highly conserved plant microRNA families, several families with disjointed phylogenetic distribution were identified. This study provides a phylogenetically important dataset for plant microRNA evolution studies. The current study is the first to identify miRNAs in a lower eudicot in which comprehensive genomic resources are becoming available.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Aquilegia / genetics*
  • Base Sequence
  • Carbohydrate Conformation
  • Databases, Nucleic Acid
  • Genome, Plant
  • MicroRNAs / chemistry
  • MicroRNAs / genetics*
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Phylogeny*
  • RNA, Plant / chemistry
  • RNA, Plant / genetics*


  • MicroRNAs
  • RNA, Plant