Background: MicroRNAs are the key post-transcriptional regulators of gene expression in development and stress responses. Thus, precisely quantifying the level of each particular microRNA is of utmost importance when studying the biology of any organism.
Description: The mirEX 2.0 web portal ( http://www.combio.pl/mirex ) provides a comprehensive platform for the exploration of microRNA expression data based on quantitative Real Time PCR and NGS sequencing experiments, covering various developmental stages, from wild-type to mutant plants. The portal includes mature and pri-miRNA expression levels detected in three plant species (Arabidopsis thaliana, Hordeum vulgare and Pellia endiviifolia), and in A. thaliana miRNA biogenesis pathway mutants. In total, the database contains information about the expression of 461 miRNAs representing 268 families. The data can be explored through the use of advanced web tools, including (i) a graphical query builder system allowing a combination of any given species, developmental stages and tissues, (ii) a modular presentation of the results in the form of thematic windows, and (iii) a number of user-friendly utilities such as a community-building discussion system and extensive tutorial documentation (e.g., tooltips, exemplary videos and presentations). All data contained within the mirEX 2.0 database can be downloaded for use in further applications in a context-based way from the result windows or from a dedicated web page.
Conclusions: The mirEX 2.0 portal provides the plant research community with easily accessible data and powerful tools for application in multi-conditioned analyses of miRNA expression from important plant species in different biological and developmental backgrounds.