A role for small RNA in regulating innate immunity during plant growth

TitleA role for small RNA in regulating innate immunity during plant growth
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2018
AuthorsDeng Y, Wang J, Tung J, Liu D, Zhou Y, He S, Du Y, Baker B, Li F
JournalPLOS Pathogens
Type of ArticleJournal
AbstractAuthor summary In plants, nucleotide-binding (NB) leucine-rich repeat (LRR) receptors (NLR) mediate pathogen-specific effector triggered immunity and are widely used in breeding to generate pathogen-resistant crops. However, dysregulation of NLR expression can inhibit plant growth and how NLR expression and function are regulated in different stages of plant growth is poorly understood. Using a high-throughput sequencing and bioinformatics approach, we found an overall increase in NLR expression, but expression of NLR-targeting sRNA during plant growth was decreased. We also used resistance to tobacco mosaic virus (TMV) mediated by the resistance gene N as a model system to study the biological significance of growth regulation of NLR by miRNAs. We found that N-mediated TMV immunity strengthened and N transcript levels increased during plant maturation. Using genetic analysis, we showed that up-regulation of N was due to transcriptional down-regulation of the N-targeting miR6019/6020 cluster during plant growth. We also showed that sRNA-mediated growth regulation of N expression and function was conserved between tobacco and tomato plants. This study therefore reveals a role for miRNAs in regulating innate immunity during plant growth.