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Ectopic Overexpression of bol-miR171b Increases Chlorophyll Content and Results in Sterility in Broccoli (Brassica oleracea L var. italica)

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journal contribution
posted on 24.08.2018, 00:00 by Hui Li, Qingli Zhang, Lihong Li, Jiye Yuan, Yu Wang, Mei Wu, Zhanpin Han, Min Liu, Chengbin Chen, Wenqin Song, Chunguo Wang
MiR171 plays pleiotropic roles in the growth and development of several plant species. However, the mechanism underlying the miR171-mediated regulation of organ development in broccoli remains unknown. In this study, bol-miR171b was characterized and found to be differentially expressed in various broccoli organs. The ectopic overexpression of bol-miR171b in Arabidopsis affected the leaf and silique development of transgenic lines. In particular, the chlorophyll content of leaves from overexpressed bol-miR171b transgenic Arabidopsis was higher than that of the vector controls. The fertility and seed yield of Arabidopsis with overexpressed bol-miR171b were markedly lower than those of the vector controls. Similarly, overexpressed bol-miR171b transgenic broccoli exhibited dark green leaves with high chlorophyll content, and nearly all of the flowers were sterile. These results demonstrated that overexpression of bol-miR171b could increase the chlorophyll content of transgenic plants. Degradome sequencing was conducted to identify the targets of bol-miR171b. Two members of the GRAS gene family, BolSCL6 and BolSCL27, were cleaved by bol-miR171b-3p in broccoli. In addition to the genes targeted by bol-miR171b-3p, adenylylsulfate reductase 3 (APSR3), which played important roles in plant sulfate assimilation and reduction, was speculated to be cleaved by bol-miR171b-5p, suggesting that the star sequence of bol-miR171b may also have functions in broccoli. Comparative transcriptome analysis further revealed that the genes involved in chloroplast development and sulfate homeostasis should participate in the bol-miR171b-mediated regulatory network. Taken together, these findings provided new insights into the function and regulation of bol-miR171b in broccoli and indicated the potential of bol-miR171b as a small RNA molecule that increased leaf chlorophyll in plants by genetic engineering.

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