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Virus Genes

, Volume 48, Issue 1, pp 1–14 | Cite as

Plant miRNAome and antiviral resistance: a retrospective view and prospective challenges

  • Shunmugiah Veluchamy RameshEmail author
  • Milind B. Ratnaparkhe
  • Giriraj Kumawat
  • Girish Kumar Gupta
  • Syed Masroor Husain
Article

Abstract

MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are small regulatory RNAs that play a defining role in post-transcriptional gene silencing of eukaryotes by either mRNA cleavage or translational inhibition. Plant miRNAs have been implicated in innumerable growth and developmental processes that extend beyond their ability to respond to biotic and abiotic stresses. Active in an organism’s immune defence response, host miRNAs display a propensity to target viral genomes. During viral invasion, these virus-targeting miRNAs can be identified by their altered expression. All the while, pathogenic viruses, as a result of their long-term interaction with plants, have been evolving viral suppressors of RNA silencing (VSRs), as well as viral-encoded miRNAs as a counter-defence strategy. However, the gene silencing attribute of miRNAs has been ingeniously manipulated to down-regulate the expression of any gene of interest, including VSRs, in artificial miRNA (amiRNA)-based transgenics. Since we currently have a better understanding of the intricacies of miRNA-mediated gene regulation in plant–virus interactions, the majority of miRNAs manipulated to confer antiviral resistance to date are in plants. This review will share the insights gained from the studies of plant-virus combat and from the endeavour to manipulate miRNAs, including prospective challenges in the context of the evolutionary dynamics of the viral genome. Next generation sequencing technologies and bioinformatics analysis will further delineate the molecular details of host–virus interactions. The need for appropriate environmental risk assessment principles specific to amiRNA-based virus resistance is also discussed.

Keywords

Artificial miRNA (amiRNA) Antiviral resistance Next generation sequencing (NGS) miRNA RNAi Viral suppressors 

Abbreviations

amiRNA

Artificial miRNA

DCL1

Dicer-like 1

ERA

Environmental risk assessment

EST

Expressed sequence tag

hpRNA

Hairpin RNA

ihpRNA

Intron-spliced hairpin RNA

miRNA

MicroRNA

NBS–LRR

Nucleotide binding site–leucine-rich repeat

NGS

Next generation sequencing

ncRNAs

Non-coding RNAs

Pre-miRNA

Precursor miRNA

Pri-miRNA

Primary miRNA

RISC

RNA-induced silencing complex

PTGS

Post-transcriptional gene silencing

RNAi

RNA interference

siRNA

Small interfering RNA

SMRT

Single molecule real time

tasiRNA

Transacting siRNA

VSRs

Viral suppressors of RNA silencing

VRTP

Virus resistant transgenic plants

Notes

Acknowledgments

The authors express their gratitude to Dr. S.K. Srivastava, Director, Directorate of Soybean Research, Indore, for providing amenities during the study. The work is an integral part of the Directorate’s Institute Research Council (IRC) approved project (Project ID: DSR 1.24/12).

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Shunmugiah Veluchamy Ramesh
    • 1
    Email author
  • Milind B. Ratnaparkhe
    • 1
  • Giriraj Kumawat
    • 1
  • Girish Kumar Gupta
    • 1
  • Syed Masroor Husain
    • 1
  1. 1.Directorate of Soybean Research, Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR)IndoreIndia

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