Document Type : Research Paper
Department of Plant Production and Genetics, University of Kurdistan, Sanandaj, Iran.
Department of Plant Production and Genetics, University of Kurdistan, Sanandaj, Iran/ 2. Research Center for Medicinal Plant Breeding and Development, University of Kurdistan, Sanandaj, Iran
Background: Chinese liquorice (Glycyrrhiza uralensis), an important medicinal plant, contains various valuable secondary metabolites. Secondary metabolites biosynthesis is very tightly regulated; therefore, elucidation and manipulation of the biosynthetic pathways are of great interest. Recent studies have shown that lncRNAs play important regulatory roles in many biological processes, thus identification and modification of their expression is essential to metabolic pathways for biosynthesis of secondary metabolites.
Objectives: In this study we attempted to identify non-coding RNA transcripts (lncRNAs) that may act as important regulators of diverse biological processes, including stress responses and developmental programs in Glycyrrhiza uralensis.
Materials and Methods: Identification of potential lncRNAs in Chinese liquorice was performed using a bioinformatics pipeline from the available EST dataset of G. uralensis.
Results: Bioinformatics analysis revealed that 1365 identical sequences in the range of 200 to 1286 base pair are putative lncRNAs. Only less than one percent of the predicted lncRNAs display sequence conservation with lncRNAs from other species. Moreover, 13 lncRNAs were detected as the potential precursors of 16 miRNAs. From this analysis, we also detected possible target genes of 16 known miRNA genes. The majority of the predicted miRNA target genes have important role in response to plant disease and a couple of them contribute to signalling and metabolic pathways.
Conclusion: This study demonstrates the existence of lncRNAs in G. uralensis which has not been found before and provides valuable resources for further understanding and characterizing of lncRNAs and also a basis for additional investigation to reveal specific roles of lncRNAs in various biological processes and particularly in response to plant diseases.