Identification of a redox-dependent regulatory network of miRNAs and their targets in wheat

Jie Cao, Zsolt Gulyás, Balázs Kalapos, Ákos Boldizsár, Xinye Liu, Magda Pál, Yingyin Yao, Gábor Galiba, Gábor Kocsy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Reactive oxygen species and antioxidants have an important role in the regulation of plant growth and development under both optimal and stress conditions. In this study, we investigate a possible redox control of miRNAs in wheat (Triticum aestivum ssp. aestivum). Treatment of seedlings with 10 mM H2O2 via the roots for 24 h resulted in decreased glutathione content, increased half-cell reduction potential of the glutathione disulphide/glutathione redox pair, and greater ascorbate peroxidase activity compared to the control plants. These changes were accompanied by alterations in the miRNA transcript profile, with 70 miRNAs being identified with at least 1.5-fold difference in their expression between control and treated (0, 3, 6 h) seedlings. Degradome sequencing identified 86 target genes of these miRNAs, and 6722 possible additional target genes were identified using bioinformatics tools. The H2O2-responsiveness of 1647 target genes over 24 h of treatment was also confirmed by transcriptome analysis, and they were mainly found to be related to the control of redox processes, transcription, and protein phosphorylation and degradation. In a time-course experiment (0-24 h of treatment) a correlation was found between the levels of glutathione, other antioxidants, and the transcript levels of the H2O2-responsive miRNAs and their target mRNAs. This relationship together with bioinformatics modelling of the regulatory network indicated glutathione-related redox control of miRNAs and their targets, which allows the adjustment of the metabolism to changing environmental conditions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)85-99
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of experimental botany
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2019


  • Ascorbate
  • glutathione
  • hydrogen peroxide
  • miRNAs
  • redox regulation
  • wheat

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Plant Science

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