, Volume 231, Issue 3, pp 705–716 | Cite as

miR398 and miR408 are up-regulated in response to water deficit in Medicago truncatula

  • Inês TrindadeEmail author
  • Cláudio Capitão
  • Tamas Dalmay
  • Manuel Pedro Fevereiro
  • Dulce Metelo dos Santos
Original Article


Plant microRNAs have been implicated in various abiotic stress responses. We identified several conserved microRNAs that showed differential expression in Medicago truncatula plants subjected to water deficit: miR169 is down-regulated only in the roots and miR398a/b and miR408 are strongly up-regulated in both shoots and roots. Down-regulation of miR169 in the roots did not correlate with accumulation of its target MtHAP2-1 transcripts, suggesting that its regulation may not occur at the mRNA level or may depend on other regulatory mechanisms, which do not involve this miRNA, in water-deficit conditions. The up-regulation of miR398a/b and miR408 and the clear down-regulation of their respective target genes, which encode the copper proteins COX5b (subunit 5b of mitochondrial cytochrome c oxidase) and plantacyanin, highlight the involvement of these miRNAs in response to water deprivation in M. truncatula. Also, miR398 up-regulation is inversely correlated with the down-regulation of copper superoxide dismutase, CSD1, during water deficit. The regulation of genes encoding copper proteins by miR398a/b and miR408 suggests a link between copper homeostasis and M. truncatula adaptation to progressive water deficit.


Differential expression Medicago MicroRNA398 MicroRNA408 Water deficit 



Subunit 5b of mitochondrial cytochrome c oxidase


Copper superoxide dismutase


Histone deacetylase




P1B-Adenosine triphosphatase


5′-Rapid amplification of cDNA ends


Untranslated region



This work was supported by Fundação para a Ciência e Tecnologia (FCT) through the ERA-NET Plant Genomics initiative ERA-PG/0001/2006. Inês Trindade is recipient of a PhD fellowship from FCT (SFRH/BD/40738/2007). Dulce Santos was supported by a FCT post-doctoral fellowship (SFRH/BPD/33348/2008). We acknowledge Dr. Gyorgy Szittya and Dr. Runchun Jin (School of Biological Sciences, UEA) and Dr. Jorge Paiva and Dr. Susana Araújo (ITQB) for their technical advice.

Supplementary material

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Supplemental Fig. S1 (TIF 5.25 mb)
425_2009_1078_MOESM2_ESM.doc (40 kb)
Supplemental Table S1 (DOC 39.5 kb)
425_2009_1078_MOESM3_ESM.doc (48 kb)
Supplemental Table S2 (DOC 48 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Inês Trindade
    • 1
    Email author
  • Cláudio Capitão
    • 1
  • Tamas Dalmay
    • 2
  • Manuel Pedro Fevereiro
    • 1
    • 3
  • Dulce Metelo dos Santos
    • 1
    • 4
  1. 1.Laboratório de Biotecnologia de Células Vegetais, Instituto de Tecnologia Química e BiológicaUniversidade Nova de LisboaOeirasPortugal
  2. 2.School of Biological SciencesUniversity of East AngliaNorwichUK
  3. 3.Departamento de Biologia Vegetal, Faculdade de CiênciasUniversidade de LisboaLisbonPortugal
  4. 4.Centro de Veterinária e Zootecnia, Instituto de Investigação Científica e TropicalUniversidade Técnica de LisboaLisbonPortugal

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