Multiple Factors and Features Dictate the Selective Production of ct-siRNA in Arabidopsis
Published:30 May2024    Source:Communications Biology
Coding transcript-derived siRNAs (ct-siRNAs) produced from specific endogenous loci can suppress the translation of their source genes to balance plant growth and stress response.
In this study, we generated Arabidopsis mutants with deficiencies in RNA decay and/or post-transcriptional gene silencing (PTGS) pathways and performed comparative sRNA-seq analysis, revealing that multiple RNA decay and PTGS factors impede the ct-siRNA selective production. Genes that produce ct-siRNAs often show increased or unchanged expression and typically have higher GC content in sequence composition. The growth and development of plants can perturb the dynamic accumulation of ct-siRNAs from different gene loci.
Two nitrate reductase genes, NIA1 and NIA2, produce massive amounts of 22-nt ct-siRNAs and are highly expressed in a subtype of mesophyll cells where DCL2 exhibits higher expression relative to DCL4, suggesting a potential role of cell-specific expression of ct-siRNAs. Overall, our findings unveil the multifaceted factors and features involved in the selective production and regulation of ct-siRNAs and enrich our understanding of gene silencing process in plants.