Small RNA profiling in two Brassica napus cultivars identifies microRNAs with oil production- and development-correlated expression and new small RNA classes

Plant Physiol. 2012 Feb;158(2):813-23. doi: 10.1104/pp.111.187666. Epub 2011 Dec 2.


MicroRNAs (miRNAs) and small interfering RNAs are important regulators of plant development and seed formation, yet their population and abundance in the oil crop Brassica napus are still not well understood, especially at different developmental stages and among cultivars with varied seed oil contents. Here, we systematically analyzed the small RNA expression profiles of Brassica napus seeds at early embryonic developmental stages in high-oil-content and low-oil-content B. napus cultivars, both cultured in two environments. A total of 50 conserved miRNAs and 9 new miRNAs were identified, together with some new miRNA targets. Expression analysis revealed some miRNAs with varied expression levels in different seed oil content cultivars or at different embryonic developmental stages. A large number of 23-nucleotide small RNAs with specific nucleotide composition preferences were also identified, which may present new classes of functional small RNAs.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Base Sequence
  • Brassica napus / genetics*
  • Brassica napus / metabolism
  • MicroRNAs / genetics*
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Plant Oils / metabolism*
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • RNA, Plant / genetics*


  • MicroRNAs
  • Plant Oils
  • RNA, Plant

Associated data

  • GENBANK/GSE34727