MicroRNA171c-targeted SCL6-II, SCL6-III, and SCL6-IV genes regulate shoot branching in Arabidopsis.

National Key Laboratory of Plant Molecular Genetics, Institute of Plant Physiology and Ecology, Shanghai Institutes for Biological Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Shanghai 200032, China.
Molecular Plant (Impact Factor: 6.61). 09/2010; 3(5):794-806. DOI: 10.1093/mp/ssq042
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are ∼21-nucleotide noncoding RNAs that play critical roles in regulating plant growth and development through directing the degradation of target mRNAs. Axillary meristem activity, and hence shoot branching, is influenced by a complicated network that involves phytohormones such as auxin, cytokinin, and strigolactone. GAI, RGA, and SCR (GRAS) family members take part in a variety of developmental processes, including axillary bud growth. Here, we show that the Arabidopsis thaliana microRNA171c (miR171c) acts to negatively regulate shoot branching through targeting GRAS gene family members SCARECROW-LIKE6-II (SCL6-II), SCL6-III, and SCL6-IV for cleavage. Transgenic plants overexpressing MIR171c (35Spro-MIR171c) and scl6-II scl6-III scl6-IV triple mutant plants exhibit a similar reduced shoot branching phenotype. Expression of any one of the miR171c-resistant versions of SCL6-II, SCL6-III, and SCL6-IV in 35Spro-MIR171c plants rescues the reduced shoot branching phenotype. Scl6-II scl6-III scl6-IV mutant plants exhibit pleiotropic phenotypes such as increased chlorophyll accumulation, decreased primary root elongation, and abnormal leaf and flower patterning. SCL6-II, SCL6-III, and SCL6-IV are located to the nucleus, and show transcriptional activation activity. Our results suggest that miR171c-targeted SCL6-II, SCL6-III, and SCL6-IV play an important role in the regulation of shoot branch production.

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