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Biol Direct. 2013 Feb 12;8:6. doi: 10.1186/1745-6150-8-6.

Description of plant tRNA-derived RNA fragments (tRFs) associated with argonaute and identification of their putative targets.

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  • 1Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul, Centro de Biotecnologia, Predio 43431, Sala 213, POBox 15005, Porto Alegre, RS, Brazil.


tRNA-derived RNA fragments (tRFs) are 19mer small RNAs that associate with Argonaute (AGO) proteins in humans. However, in plants, it is unknown if tRFs bind with AGO proteins. Here, using public deep sequencing libraries of immunoprecipitated Argonaute proteins (AGO-IP) and bioinformatics approaches, we identified the Arabidopsis thaliana AGO-IP tRFs. Moreover, using three degradome deep sequencing libraries, we identified four putative tRF targets. The expression pattern of tRFs, based on deep sequencing data, was also analyzed under abiotic and biotic stresses. The results obtained here represent a useful starting point for future studies on tRFs in plants.

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