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Tree Physiol. 2013 Oct;33(10):1084-98. doi: 10.1093/treephys/tpt076. Epub 2013 Nov 10.

The small RNA profile in latex from Hevea brasiliensis trees is affected by tapping panel dryness.

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CIRAD, UMR AGAP, F-34398 Montpellier, France.


Natural rubber is harvested by tapping Hevea brasiliensis (Willd. ex A. Juss.) Müll. Arg. Harvesting stress can lead to tapping panel dryness (TPD). MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are induced by abiotic stress and regulate gene expression by targeting the cleavage or translational inhibition of target messenger RNAs. This study set out to sequence miRNAs expressed in latex cells and to identify TPD-related putative targets. Deep sequencing of small RNAs was carried out on latex from trees affected by TPD using Solexa technology. The most abundant small RNA class size was 21 nucleotides for TPD trees compared with 24 nucleotides in healthy trees. By combining the LeARN pipeline, data from the Plant MicroRNA database and Hevea EST sequences, we identified 19 additional conserved and four putative species-specific miRNA families not found in previous studies on rubber. The relative transcript abundance of the Hbpre-MIR159b gene increased with TPD. This study revealed a small RNA-specific signature of TPD-affected trees. Both RNA degradation and a shift in miRNA biogenesis are suggested to explain the general decline in small RNAs and, particularly, in miRNAs.


MIR gene; gene expression; miRNA; next-generation sequencing; rubber tree

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