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Plant Mol Biol. 2009 Jul;70(4):385-401. doi: 10.1007/s11103-009-9480-3. Epub 2009 Apr 8.

Conserved and novel miRNAs in the legume Phaseolus vulgaris in response to stress.

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Departamento de Biología Molecular de Plantas, Instituto de Biotecnología, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Av. Universidad 2001, Cuernavaca, Morelos, Mexico.


MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are small RNA molecules recognized as important regulators of gene expression. Although plant miRNAs have been extensively studied in model systems, less is known in other plants with limited genome sequence data. We are interested in the identification of miRNAs in Phaseolus vulgaris (common bean) to uncover different plant strategies to cope with adverse conditions and because of its relevance as a crop in developing countries. Here we present the identification of conserved and candidate novel miRNAs in P. vulgaris present in different organs and growth conditions, including drought, abscisic acid treatment, and Rhizobium infection. We also identified cDNA sequences in public databases that represent the corresponding miRNA precursors. In addition, we predicted and validated target mRNAs amongst reported EST and cDNAs for P. vulgaris. We propose that the novel miRNAs present in common bean and other legumes, are involved in regulation of legume-specific processes including adaptation to diverse external cues.

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