MicroRNAs play an important role in abiotic stress responses in higher plants and animals, but their role in stress adaptation in algae remains unknown. In this study, the expression of identified and putative miRNAs in Chlamydomonas reinhardtii was assessed using quantitative polymerase chain reaction; some of the miRNAs (Cre-miR906-3p) were up-regulated, whereas others (Cre-miR910) were downregulated when the species was subjected to multiple abiotic stresses. With degradome sequencing data, we also identified ATP4 (the d-subunit of ATP synthase) and NCR2 (NADPH: cytochrome P450 reductase) as one of the several targets of Cre-miR906-3p and Cre-miR910, respectively. Q-PCR data indicated that ATP4, which was expressed inversely in relation to Cre-miR906-3p under stress conditions. Overexpressing of Cre-miR906-3p enhanced resistance to multiple stresses; conversely, overexpressing of ATP4 produced the opposite effect. These data of Q-PCR, degradome sequencing and adaptation of overexpressing lines indicated that Cre-miR906-3p and its target ATP4 were a part of the same pathway for stress adaptation. We found that Cre-miR910 and its target NCR2 were also a part of this pathway. Overexpressing of Cre-miR910 decreased, whereas that of NCR2 increased the adaption to multiple stresses. Our findings suggest that the two classes of miRNAs synergistically mediate stress adaptation in algae.
1.Chinese Acad Sci, Inst Hydrobiol, Key Lab Algal Biol, Wuhan 430072, Peoples R China 2.Univ Chinese Acad Sci, Beijing 100049, Peoples R China 3.Chinese Univ Sci & Technol, Sch Life Sci, Hefei 230022, Peoples R China 4.Wuxi Biortus Biosci Co Ltd, Jiangyin 214437, Jiangsu, Peoples R China