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Sci Rep. 2017 Aug 24;7(1):9280. doi: 10.1038/s41598-017-07702-x.

Loss of function of Arabidopsis microRNA-machinery genes impairs fertility, and has effects on homologous recombination and meiotic chromatin dynamics.

Author information

1
Departamento de Genética, Facultad de Biología, Universidad Complutense de Madrid, 28040, Madrid, Spain.
2
Institut de Génétique Humaine UMR9002 CNRS-Université de Montpellier, 34396, Montpellier, cedex 05, France.
3
Instituto de Bioingeniería, Universidad Miguel Hernández, Campus de Elche, 03202, Elche, Spain.
4
Instituto de Bioingeniería, Universidad Miguel Hernández, Campus de Elche, 03202, Elche, Spain. mrponce@umh.es.
5
Departamento de Genética, Facultad de Biología, Universidad Complutense de Madrid, 28040, Madrid, Spain. jlsc53@bio.ucm.es.

Abstract

MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are ~22-nt single-stranded noncoding RNAs with regulatory roles in a wide range of cellular functions by repressing eukaryotic gene expression at a post-transcriptional level. Here, we analyzed the effects on meiosis and fertility of hypomorphic or null alleles of the HYL1, HEN1, DCL1, HST and AGO1 genes, which encode miRNA-machinery components in Arabidopsis. Reduced pollen and megaspore mother cell number and fertility were shown by the mutants analyzed. These mutants also exhibited a relaxed chromatin conformation in male meiocytes at the first meiotic division, and increased chiasma frequency, which is likely to be due to increased levels of mRNAs from key genes involved in homologous recombination. The hen1-13 mutant was found to be hypersensitive to gamma irradiation, which mainly causes double-strand breaks susceptible to be repaired by homologous recombination. Our findings uncover a role for miRNA-machinery components in Arabidopsis meiosis, as well as in the repression of key genes required for homologous recombination. These genes seem to be indirect miRNA targets.

PMID:
28839139
PMCID:
PMC5571030
DOI:
10.1038/s41598-017-07702-x
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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