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miR172 Regulates Soybean Nodulation

December 2013 , Volume 26 , Number  12
Pages  1,371 - 1,377

Zhe Yan , 1 Md Shakhawat Hossain , 1 Jun Wang , 1 , 2 Oswaldo Valdés-López , 1 Yan Liang , 1 Marc Libault , 1 Lijuan Qiu , 2 and Gary Stacey 1

1Divisions of Plant Science and Biochemistry, National Center for Soybean Biotechnology, Christopher S. Bond Life Sciences Center, University of Missouri, Columbia, MO 65211, U.S.A.; 2National Key Facility for Crop Gene Resources and Genetic Improvement (NFCRI), Institute of Crop Science, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Beijing 100081, China


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Accepted 20 August 2013.

Micro-RNAs (miRNAs) play a pivotal role in the control of gene expression and regulate plant developmental processes. miRNA 172 (miR172) is a conserved miRNA in plants reported to control the expression of genes involved in developmental phase transition, floral organ identity, and flowering time. However, the specific role of miR172 in legume nodulation is undefined. Ectopic expression of soybean miR172 resulted in an increase in nodule numbers in transgenic roots and an increase in the expression of both symbiotic leghemoglobin and nonsymbiotic hemoglobin. These nodules showed higher levels of nitrogenase activity. Further analysis revealed a complex regulatory circuit in which miR156 regulates miR172 expression and controls the level of an AP2 transcription factor. The latter, either directly or indirectly, controls the expression of nonsymbiotic hemoglobin, which is essential for regulating the levels of nodulation.



© 2013 The American Phytopathological Society