Light is the main source of energy and, as such, is one of the most important environmental factors for plant growth, morphogenesis, and other physiological responses. MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are endogenous non-coding RNAs that contain 21-24 nucleotides (nt) and play important roles in plant growth and development as well as stress responses. However, the role of miRNAs in the light response is less studied.
In a new study, researchers used tomato seedlings that were cultured in red light then transferred to blue light for 2 min to identify miRNAs related to light response by high-throughput sequencing. Results: A total of 108 known miRNAs and 141 predicted novel miRNAs were identified in leaf samples from tomato leaves treated with the different light qualities. Among them, 15 known and 5 predicted novel miRNAs were differentially expressed after blue light treatment compared with the control (red light treatment).
KEGG enrichment analysis showed that significantly enriched pathways included zeatin biosynthesis (ko00908), homologous recombination (ko03440), and plant hormone signal transduction (ko04075). Zeatin biosynthesis and plant hormone signal transduction are related to plant hormones, indicating that plant hormones play important roles in the light response. Conclusion: The results provide a theoretical basis for further understanding the role of miRNAs in the light response of plants.