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New Phytol. 2010 Apr;186(1):207-15. doi: 10.1111/j.1469-8137.2010.03187.x.

RNAi-mediated down-regulation of DCL1 and AGO1 induces developmental changes in resynthesized Arabidopsis allotetraploids.

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Section of Molecular Cell and Developmental Biology, The University of Texas at Austin, Austin, TX 78712, USA.


Both natural and newly synthesized allopolyploids display nonadditive gene expression changes through genetic and epigenetic mechanisms. The nonadditively expressed genes include many microRNA (miRNA) targets, suggesting a role for miRNAs and their targets in morphological variation in the allopolyploids and their progenitors. We produced dominant-negative transgenic allotetraploid plants in Arabidopsis using RNA interference (RNAi) that downregulates the expression of miRNA biogenesis genes, including DCL1 and AGO1. RNAi of DCL1 and AGO1 led to dominant negative phenotypes and decreased accumulation of several miRNAs and a tasiRNA tested in the transgenic resynthesized allotetraploids. The results demonstrated that miRNA biogenesis genes are effectively downregulated in the resynthesized allotetraploids containing redundant homoeologous genes that are difficult to be manipulated by conventional mutation screens. These lines will be useful for studying the effects of miRNA biogenesis genes on growth and developmental variation in the allopolyploids.

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