Plants produce a diverse array of small RNA molecules capable of gene regulation, including Pol IV-dependent short interfering (p4-siRNAs that trigger transcriptional gene silencing. Small RNA transcriptomes are available for many plant species, but mutations affecting the synthesis of Pol IV-dependent siRNAs are characterized only in Arabidopsis and maize, leading to assumptions regarding nature of p4-siRNAs in all other species. We have identified a mutation in the largest subunit of Pol IV, NRPD1, that impacts Pol IV activity in Brassica rapa, an agriculturally important relative of the reference plant Arabidopsis. Using this mutation we characterized the Pol IV-dependent and Pol IV-independent small RNA populations in B. rapa. In addition, our analysis demonstrates reduced production of p4-siRNAs in B. rapa relative to Arabidopsis. B. rapa genomic regions are less likely to generate p4-siRNAs than Arabidopsis but more likely to generate Pol IV-independent siRNAs, including 24 nt RNAs mapping to transposable elements. These observations underscore the diversity of small RNAs produced by plants and highlight the importance of genetic studies during small RNA analysis.
- Brassica rapa
- RNA Polymerase IV
- RNA-directed DNA methylation
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Immunology and Microbiology(all)
- Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)