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Biotic and abiotic stress down-regulate miR398 expression in Arabidopsis

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MicroRNA398 targets two Cu/Zn superoxide dismutases (CSD1 and CSD2) in higher plants. Previous investigations revealed both decreased miR398 expression during high Cu2+ or paraquat stress and increased expression under low Cu2+ or high sucrose in the growth medium. Here, we show that additional abiotic stresses such as ozone and salinity also affect miR398 levels. Ozone fumigation decreased miR398 levels that were gradually restored to normal levels after relieved from the stress. Furthermore, miR398 levels decreased in Arabidopsis leaves infiltrated with avirulent strains of Pseudomonas syringae pv. tomato, Pst DC3000 (avrRpm1 or avrRpt2) but not the virulent strain Pst DC3000. To our knowledge, miR398 is the first miRNA shown to be down-regulated in response to biotic stress (P. syringae). CSD1, but not CSD2, mRNA levels were negatively correlated with miR398 levels during ozone, salinity and biotic stress, suggesting that CSD2 regulation is not strictly under miR398 control during diverse stresses. Overall, this study further establishes a link between oxidative stress and miR398 in Arabidopsis.

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Fig. 1
Fig. 2



Cu/Zn Superoxide dismutase 1


Cu/Zn Superoxide dismutase 2




Murashige and Skoog medium


Pathogenesis related 1


Reactive oxygen species


Superoxide dismutase


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This work was supported by the Oklahoma Agricultural Experiment Station and USDA-(NRI-2007-02019) to R. Sunkar. Ajay Saini is supported by the BOYSCAST fellowship from the Department of Science and Technology, India. We sincerely thank Dr. Jeff Dangl and Dr. Ramesh Raina for providing the pathogen strains, Drs. N. Jambunathan for the initial help with the experiments and R. Mahalingam for permitting us to use the ozone chamber.

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Correspondence to Ramanjulu Sunkar.

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Jagadeeswaran, G., Saini, A. & Sunkar, R. Biotic and abiotic stress down-regulate miR398 expression in Arabidopsis . Planta 229, 1009–1014 (2009).

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