Genome-Wide Analysis of MicroRNAs in Sacred Lotus, Nelumbo nucifera (Gaertn)

Yun Zheng, Guru Jagadeeswaran, Kanchana Gowdu, Nian Wang, Shaohua Li, Ray Ming, Ramanjulu Sunkar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are small non-coding regulatory RNAs that degrade or repress protein synthesis of their messenger RNA targets. This mode of posttranscriptional gene regulation is critical for plant growth and development as well as adaptation to stress conditions. Sacred lotus (Nelumbo nucifera) is a land plant but adapted to the aquatic environment. It is a basal eudicot in the order Proteales, with significant taxonomic importance. Thus identification of miRNAs in sacred lotus could provide information about miRNA evolution, particularly the conservation as well as divergence of miRNAs in dicots. To identify conserved and novel miRNAs in sacred lotus, small RNA libraries from leaves and flowers were sequenced as well as computational strategy was employed. These approaches resulted in identification of 81 miRNAs that can be grouped into 41 conserved/known miRNA families and 52 novel miRNAs forming 49 novel miRNA families. Using 3 mismatches between miRNAs and their mRNA targets as cutoff, we have predicted 137 genes as targets for the conserved and known miRNAs. Overall, this analysis provided a glimpse of miRNA-dependent posttranscriptional gene regulations in sacred lotus.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)117-130
Number of pages14
JournalTropical Plant Biology
Issue number2-3
StatePublished - Sep 2013


  • MicroRNA targets
  • MicroRNAs
  • Post-transcriptional gene regulation
  • Sacred lotus
  • Small RNAs

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics
  • Plant Science


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