miRNAs involved in transcriptome remodeling during pollen development and heat stress response in Solanum lycopersicum

Sci Rep. 2020 Jul 1;10(1):10694. doi: 10.1038/s41598-020-67833-6.


Cellular transitions during development and stress response depend on coordinated transcriptomic and proteomic alterations. Pollen is particular because its development is a complex process that includes meiotic and mitotic divisions which causes a high heat sensitivity of these cells. Development and stress response are accompanied by a reprogramming of the transcriptome, e.g. by post-transcriptional regulation via miRNAs. We identified known and potentially novel miRNAs in the transcriptome of developing and heat-stressed pollen of Solanum lycopersicum (tomato). The prediction of target mRNAs yielded an equal number of predicted target-sites in CDS and 3'UTR regions of target mRNAs. The result enabled the postulation of a possible link between miRNAs and a fine-tuning of transcription factor abundance during pollen development. miRNAs seem to play a role in the pollen heat stress response as well. We identified several heat stress transcription factors and heat shock proteins as putative targets of miRNAs in response to heat stress, thereby placing these miRNAs as important elements of thermotolerance. Moreover, for members of the AP2, SBP and ARF family members we could predict a miRNA-mediated regulation during development via the miR172, mir156 and mir160-family strengthening the current concept of a cross-connection between development and stress response in plants.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Gene Expression Profiling
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Plant
  • Heat-Shock Proteins / genetics
  • Heat-Shock Proteins / metabolism
  • Heat-Shock Response / genetics
  • Lycopersicon esculentum / genetics*
  • Lycopersicon esculentum / physiology
  • MicroRNAs / genetics*
  • Pollen / genetics*
  • Pollen / growth & development*
  • Thermotolerance / genetics*
  • Transcriptome / genetics


  • Heat-Shock Proteins
  • MicroRNAs