Combined drought and heat stresses trigger different sets of miRNAs in contrasting potato cultivars

Gokce Z. N. O., Aksoy E., Bakhsh A., Demirel U., Caliskan S., Caliskan M. E.

FUNCTIONAL & INTEGRATIVE GENOMICS, vol.21, no.3-4, pp.489-502, 2021 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 21 Issue: 3-4
  • Publication Date: 2021
  • Doi Number: 10.1007/s10142-021-00793-w
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, Academic Search Premier, BIOSIS, CAB Abstracts, Chemical Abstracts Core, EMBASE, MEDLINE, Veterinary Science Database
  • Page Numbers: pp.489-502
  • Keywords: MicroRNA, Water deficit, High-temperature stress, Combined stress, Gene regulation, sRNA sequencing, ZINC-FINGER PROTEIN, TRANSCRIPTION FACTOR, HD-ZIP, GENES, ROLES, DEHYDRATION, RESISTANCE, TOLERANCE, MICRORNAS, MECHANISM
  • Middle East Technical University Affiliated: Yes


MicroRNAs are small, non-coding RNAs that are responsible for regulation of gene expression during plant growth and development. Although there are many studies on miRNAs in other plants, little work has been done to understand the role of miRNAs in abiotic stress tolerance in potatoes. This study investigates changes in miRNA profiles of two different potato cultivars (tolerant, Unica and susceptible, Russet Burbank) in response to heat, drought and their combination. Transcriptomic studies revealed that miRNA profiles depend on the susceptibility and tolerance of the cultivar and also the stress conditions. Large number of miRNAs were expressed in Unica, whereas Russet Burbank indicated lesser number of changes in miRNA expression. Physiological and transcriptional results clearly supported that Unica cultivar is tolerant to combined drought and heat stress compared to Russet Burbank. Moreover, psRNATarget analysis predicted that major miRNAs identified were targeting genes playing important roles in response to drought and heat stress and their important roles in genetic and post-transcriptional regulation, root development, auxin responses and embryogenesis were also observed. This study focused on eight miRNAs (Novel_8, Novel_9, Novel_105, miR156d-3p, miR160a-5p, miR162a-3p, miR172b-3p and miR398a-5p) and their putative targets where results indicate that they may play a vital role at different post-transcriptional levels against drought and heat stresses. We suggest that miRNA overexpression in plants can lead to increased tolerance against abiotic stresses; furthermore, there should be more emphasis on the studies to investigate the role of miRNAs in combined abiotic stress in plants.