Research Article

Computational identification of miRNAs and their targets in Phaseolus vulgaris

Published: January 21, 2014
Genet. Mol. Res. 13 (1) : 310-322 DOI: https://doi.org/10.4238/2014.January.17.16
Cite this Article:
(2014). Computational identification of miRNAs and their targets in Phaseolus vulgaris. Genet. Mol. Res. 13(1): gmr3273. https://doi.org/10.4238/2014.January.17.16
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Abstract

MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are a class of non-coding small RNAs that negatively regulate gene expression at the post-transcriptional level. Although thousands of miRNAs have been identified in plants, limited information is available about miRNAs in Phaseolus vulgaris, despite it being an important food legume worldwide. The high conservation of plant miRNAs enables the identification of new miRNAs in P. vulgaris by homology analysis. Here, 1804 known and unique plant miRNAs from 37 plant species were blast-searched against expressed sequence tag and genomic survey sequence databases to identify novel miRNAs in P. vulgaris. All candidate sequences were screened by a series of miRNA filtering criteria. Finally, we identified 27 conserved miRNAs, belonging to 24 miRNA families. When compared against known miRNAs in P. vulgaris, we found that 24 of the 27 miRNAs were newly discovered. Further, we identified 92 potential target genes with known functions for these novel miRNAs. Most of these target genes were predicted to be involved in plant development, signal transduction, metabolic pathways, disease resistance, and environmental stress response. The identification of the novel miRNAs in P. vulgaris is anticipated to provide baseline information for further research about the biological functions and evolution of miRNAs in P. vulgaris.

MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are a class of non-coding small RNAs that negatively regulate gene expression at the post-transcriptional level. Although thousands of miRNAs have been identified in plants, limited information is available about miRNAs in Phaseolus vulgaris, despite it being an important food legume worldwide. The high conservation of plant miRNAs enables the identification of new miRNAs in P. vulgaris by homology analysis. Here, 1804 known and unique plant miRNAs from 37 plant species were blast-searched against expressed sequence tag and genomic survey sequence databases to identify novel miRNAs in P. vulgaris. All candidate sequences were screened by a series of miRNA filtering criteria. Finally, we identified 27 conserved miRNAs, belonging to 24 miRNA families. When compared against known miRNAs in P. vulgaris, we found that 24 of the 27 miRNAs were newly discovered. Further, we identified 92 potential target genes with known functions for these novel miRNAs. Most of these target genes were predicted to be involved in plant development, signal transduction, metabolic pathways, disease resistance, and environmental stress response. The identification of the novel miRNAs in P. vulgaris is anticipated to provide baseline information for further research about the biological functions and evolution of miRNAs in P. vulgaris.