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Identification and characterization of microRNA-like RNAs in Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. cubense

Jun Peng: Chinese Acadey of Tropical Science

<div><strong></strong></p> <p><strong>AUTHORS:</strong></p> <p>Jun Peng<sup>1,</sup>, , Chunliang Meng<sup>2</sup>, Yanxiang Qi<sup>1</sup>,Fanyun Zeng<sup>1</sup>, Yixian Xie<sup>1</sup>,</p> <p>Sijun Zheng<sup>2*</sup>, Xin Zhang<sup>1*</sup></p> <p><strong> </strong></p> <p><strong>AFFILIATION:</strong></p> <p>1 Environment and Plant Protection Institute, Chinese Academy of Tropical Agricultural Sciences; Key Laboratory of Monitoring and Control of Tropical Agricultural and Forest Invasive Alien Pests; Haikou, Hainan, 571101, China.</p> <p>2 College of Environment and Plant Protection, Hainan University, Haikou, 570228, China;</p> <p>3 Bioversity Internatioanl, Italy</p> <p><strong> </strong><strong> </strong></p> <p><strong>Abstract:</strong></p> <p>Recent discoveries of microRNA-like RNAs (milRNAs) in plant pathogenic fungi have been characterized and are suggested to play a role in pathogenic development and virulence. Fusarium wilt of banana caused by <em>Fusarium</em> oxysporum f. sp. <em>cubense</em> (Foc) is one of the most severe diseases in world. We proposed that Foc could encode milRNAs and therefore the different developmental stages, mycelia and conidia between Foc1 and Foc4 were deep sequenced for milRNAs identification, of which a total of 133 conserved miRNAs, 88 milRNAs and 133 novel milRNA candidates were identified. The partial milRNAs/milRNAs* were testified by northern blotting. Besides, transient expression milRNA precursor by ago-infiltration in <em>N. benthamiana</em> leaves was proved to be an alternative approach for validating milRNAs processing <em>in vivo</em>. Furthermore, the most abundant milR-1, was predicted only target gene in host rather than fungus itself. To elucidate whether milR-1 could silence target mRNA, transient co-expression of milR-1 precursor and GFP fused target mRNA in<em> N. </em><em>benthamiana</em> plants was performed and results confirmed that milR-1 could inhibit the translation of target mRNA. Our finding first proved that Foc could produce milRNAs and suggested possible roles of milRNAs in the Foc-host interaction via trans-kingdom gene silencing.</div>