Combined Small RNA and Degradome Sequencing Reveals Novel MiRNAs and Their Targets in the High-Yield Mutant Wheat Strain Yunong 3114

PLoS One. 2015 Sep 15;10(9):e0137773. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0137773. eCollection 2015.


Wheat is one of the main food sources worldwide; large amount studies have been conducted to improve wheat production. MicroRNAs (miRNAs) with about 20-30 nucleotide are a class of regulatory small RNAs (sRNAs), which could regulate gene expression through sequence-specific base pairing with target mRNAs, playing important roles in plant growth. An ideal plant architecture (IPA) is crucial to enhance yield in bread wheat. In this study, the high-yield wheat strain Yunong 3114 was EMS-mutagenesis from the wild-type strain Yunong 201, exhibiting a preferable plant structure compared with the wild-type strain. We constructed small RNA and degradome libraries from Yunong 201 and Yunong 3114, and performed small RNA sequencing of these libraries in order identify miRNAs and their targets related to IPA in wheat. Totally, we identified 488 known and 837 novel miRNAs from Yunong 3114 and 391 known and 533 novel miRNAs from Yunong 201. The number of miRNAs in the mutant increased. A total of 37 known and 432 putative novel miRNAs were specifically expressed in the mutant strain; furthermore, 23 known and 159 putative novel miRNAs were specifically expressed in the wild-type strain. A total of 150 known and 100 novel miRNAs were differentially expressed between mutant and wild-type strains. Among these differentially expressed novel miRNAs, 4 and 8 predict novel miRNAs were evidenced by degradome sequencing and showed up-regulated and down-regulated expressions in the mutant strain Yunong 3114, respectively. Targeted gene annotation and previous results indicated that this set of miRNAs is related to plant structure. Our results further suggested that miRNAs may be necessary to obtain an optimal wheat structure.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Computational Biology*
  • High-Throughput Nucleotide Sequencing*
  • MicroRNAs / chemistry
  • MicroRNAs / genetics*
  • Mutation*
  • Sequence Analysis, RNA*
  • Triticum / genetics*
  • Triticum / growth & development*


  • MicroRNAs

Grant support

This project was funded by the 973 project (2014CB138105 and 2014CB160303), the National Natural Science Foundation (31370031), and the Program for New Century Excellent Talents in University (NCET-13-0776) in the University of China.