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Transgenic plants are commonly used in breeding programs because of the various features that can be introduced. However, unintended effects caused by genetic transformation are still a topic of concern. This makes research on the nutritional safety of transgenic crop plants extremely interesting. Cucumber (Cucumis sativus L.) is a crop that is grown worldwide. The aim of this study was to identify and characterize differentially expressed genes and regulatory miRNAs in transgenic cucumber fruits that contain the thaumatin II gene, which encodes the sweet-tasting protein thaumatin II, by NGS sequencing. We compared the fruit transcriptomes and miRNomes of three transgenic cucumber lines with wild-type cucumber. In total, we found 47 differentially expressed genes between control and all three transgenic lines. We performed the bioinformatic functional analysis and gene ontology classification. We also identified 12 differentially regulated miRNAs, from which three can influence the two targets (assigned as DEGs) in one of the studied transgenic lines (line 224). We found that the transformation of cucumber with thaumatin II and expression of the transgene had minimal impact on gene expression and epigenetic regulation by miRNA, in the cucumber fruits.


Magdalena Ewa Pawełkowicz, Agnieszka Skarzyńska, Małgorzata Sroka, Maria Szwacka, Tomasz Pniewski, Wojciech Pląder. Effect of Transgenesis on mRNA and miRNA Profiles in Cucumber Fruits Expressing Thaumatin II. Genes. 2020 Mar 20;11(3)

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PMID: 32245082

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