Indexed on: 07 Mar '18Published on: 07 Mar '18Published in: Scientific Reports
Sea buckthorn is a plant of medicinal and nutritional importance owing in part to the high levels of essential fatty acids, linoleic (up to 42%) and α-linolenic (up to 39%) acids in the seed oil. Sea buckthorn can produce seeds either via the sexual pathway or by apomixis. The seed development and maturation programs are critically dependent on miRNAs. To understand miRNA-mediated regulation of sea buckthorn seed development, eight small RNA libraries were constructed for deep sequencing from developing seeds of a low oil content line 'SJ1' and a high oil content line 'XE3'. High-throughput sequencing identified 137 known miRNA from 27 families and 264 novel miRNAs. The potential targets of the identified miRNAs were predicted based on sequence homology. Nineteen (four known and 15 novel) and 22 (six known and 16 novel) miRNAs were found to be involved in lipid biosynthesis and seed size, respectively. An integrated analysis of mRNA and miRNA transcriptome and qRT-PCR identified some key miRNAs and their targets (miR164d-ARF2, miR168b-Δ9D, novelmiRNA-108-ACC, novelmiRNA-23-GPD1, novelmiRNA-58-DGAT1, and novelmiRNA-191-DGAT2) potentially involved in seed size and lipid biosynthesis of sea buckthorn seed. These results indicate the potential importance of miRNAs in regulating lipid biosynthesis and seed size in sea buckthorn.