Regulation of the alkaloid biosynthesis by miRNA in opium poppy

Boke H., Ozhuner E., Turktas M., Parmaksiz I., Ozcan S., Unver T.

PLANT BIOTECHNOLOGY JOURNAL, vol.13, no.3, pp.409-420, 2015 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 13 Issue: 3
  • Publication Date: 2015
  • Doi Number: 10.1111/pbi.12346
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.409-420
  • Keywords: alkaloid biosynthesis, deep sequencing, gene ontology, microRNA, microarray, Papaver somniferum, GENOME-WIDE IDENTIFICATION, PAPAVER-SOMNIFERUM, GENE-EXPRESSION, TARGET GENES, MICRORNAS, STRESS, PLANTS, ARABIDOPSIS, SERVER, ROLES
  • Gazi University Affiliated: No


Opium poppy (Papaver somniferum) is an important medicinal plant producing benzylisoquinoline alkaloids (BIA). MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are endogenous small RNAs (sRNAs) of approximately 21 nucleotides. They are noncoding, but regulate gene expression in eukaryotes. Although many studies have been conducted on the identification and functions of plant miRNA, scarce researches on miRNA regulation of alkaloid biosynthesis have been reported. In this study, a total of 316 conserved and 11 novel miRNAs were identified in opium poppy using second-generation sequencing and direct cloning. Tissue-specific regulation of miRNA expression was comparatively analysed by miRNA microarray assays. A total of 232 miRNAs were found to be differentially expressed among four tissues. Likewise, 1469 target transcripts were detected using in silico and experimental approaches. The Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes pathway analyses indicated that miRNA putatively regulates carbohydrate metabolism and genetic-information processing. Additionally, miRNA target transcripts were mostly involved in response to stress against various factors and secondary-metabolite biosynthesis processes. Target transcript identification analyses revealed that some of the miRNAs might be involved in BIA biosynthesis, such as pso-miR13, pso-miR2161 and pso-miR408. Additionally, three putatively mature miRNA sequences were predicted to be targeting BIA-biosynthesis genes.