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    We identified and cloned the two precursors of miR158 and its target gene in Brassica campestris ssp. chinensis, which both had high relative expression in the inflorescences. Further study revealed that over-expression of miR158 caused reduced pollen varbility, which was caused by the degradation of pollen contents from the binucleate microspore stage. These results first suggest the role of miR158 in pollen development of Brassica campestris ssp. chinensis. MicroRNAs (miRNAs) play crucial roles in many important growth and development processes both in plants and animals by regulating the expression of their target genes via mRNA cleavage or translational repression. In this study, miR158, a Brassicaceae specific miRNA, was functionally characterized with regard to its role in pollen development of non-heading Chinese cabbage (Brassica campestris ssp. chinensis). Two family members of miR158 in B. campestris, namely bra-miR158a1 and bra-miR158a2, and their target gene bra027656, which encodes a pentatricopeptide repeat (PPR) containing protein, were identified. Then, qRT-PCR analysis and GUS-reporter system revealed that both bra-miR158 and its target gene had relatively high expression levels in the inflorescences. Further study revealed that over-expression of miR158 caused reduced pollen varbility and pollen germination ratio, and the degradation of pollen contents from the binucleate microspore stage was also found in those deformed pollen grains, which led to pollen shrinking and collapse in later pollen development stage. These results first shed light on the importance of miR158 in pollen development of Brassica campestris ssp. chinensis.

    Citation

    Zhiming Ma, Jianxia Jiang, Ziwei Hu, Tianqi Lyu, Yang Yang, Jingjing Jiang, Jiashu Cao. Over-expression of miR158 causes pollen abortion in Brassica campestris ssp. chinensis. Plant molecular biology. 2017 Feb;93(3):313-326

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    PMID: 27909970

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