Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Genome Biol Evol. 2013;5(12):2449-59. doi: 10.1093/gbe/evt196.

Composition and expression of conserved microRNA genes in diploid cotton (Gossypium) species.

Author information

  • 1Department of Ecology, Evolution and Organismal Biology, Iowa State University.


MicroRNAs are ubiquitous in plant genomes but vary greatly in their abundance within and conservation among plant lineages. To gain insight into the evolutionary birth/death dynamics of microRNA families, we sequenced small RNA and 5'-end PARE libraries generated from two closely related species of Gossypium. Here, we demonstrate that 33 microRNA families, with similar copy numbers and average evolutionary rates, are conserved in the two congeneric cottons. Analysis of the presence/absence of these microRNA families in other land plants sheds light on their depth of phylogenetic origin and lineage-specific loss/gain. Conserved microRNA families in Gossypium exhibit a striking interspecific asymmetry in expression, potentially connected to relative proximity to neighboring transposable elements. A complex correlated expression pattern of microRNA target genes with their controlling microRNAs indicates that possible functional divergence of conserved microRNA families can also exist even within a single plant genus.


biased gene expression; evolutionary divergence; gene family evolution; miRNA

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for HighWire Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk