Hypoxia-responsive microRNAs and trans-acting small interfering RNAs in Arabidopsis

J Exp Bot. 2010;61(1):165-77. doi: 10.1093/jxb/erp296.


Low-oxygen (hypoxia) stress associated with natural phenomena such as waterlogging, results in widespread transcriptome changes and a metabolic switch from aerobic respiration to anaerobic fermentation. High-throughput sequencing of small RNA libraries obtained from hypoxia-treated and control root tissue identified a total of 65 unique microRNA (miRNA) sequences from 46 families, and 14 trans-acting small interfering RNA (tasiRNA) from three families. Hypoxia resulted in changes to the abundance of 46 miRNAs from 19 families, and all three tasiRNA families. Chemical inhibition of mitochondrial respiration caused similar changes in expression in a majority of the hypoxia-responsive small RNAs analysed. Our data indicate that miRNAs and tasiRNAs play a role in gene regulation and possibly developmental responses to hypoxia, and that a major signal for these responses is likely to be dependent on mitochondrial function.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Arabidopsis / cytology*
  • Arabidopsis / genetics*
  • Base Sequence
  • Cell Hypoxia
  • Cell Respiration
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Plant
  • High-Throughput Screening Assays
  • MicroRNAs / metabolism*
  • Mitochondria / metabolism
  • Models, Biological
  • Plant Roots / genetics
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Promoter Regions, Genetic / genetics
  • RNA, Messenger / genetics
  • RNA, Messenger / metabolism
  • RNA, Small Interfering / metabolism*
  • Sequence Analysis, DNA
  • Stress, Physiological


  • MicroRNAs
  • RNA, Messenger
  • RNA, Small Interfering