Tree Genetics & Genomes

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Pyr-miR171f-targeted PyrSCL6 and PyrSCL22 genes regulate shoot growth by responding to IAA signaling in pear

  • Shuling Jiang
  • Qiuju Chen
  • Qiulei Zhang
  • Yi Zhang
  • Ningning Hao
  • Chunqing Ou
  • Fei Wang
  • Tianzhong Li
Original Article
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Gene Expression


MicroRNA171 (miR171) is a highly conserved miRNA family, crucial for plant growth and development, and has been reported in Arabidopsis thaliana and tomato (Solanum lycopersicum), but the role of miR171 has not been explored in pear. In this study, an effort was made to decipher the mechanism underlying dwarf in ‘Zhongai 3’, of which the shoot length and shoot growth rate during the growing season were much less than those of the vigorous cultivar ‘Zaosu’, and the same for the indole-3-acetic acid (IAA) content in shoot tips after May 22, 2016. We identified a member of the miR171 family, which was most sensitive to IAA and targeted two genes conformed by 5′-RACE, and we named Pyr-miR171f. The two targets were named as PyrSCL6 and PyrSCL22, and contained a GRAS-conserved domain and encoded nucleus proteins. Quantitative RT-PCR analysis revealed that Pyr-miR171f was more abundant in ‘Zaosu’ shoot tips than in ‘Zhongai 3’ shoot tips, whereas the PyrSCL6 and PyrSCL22 mRNAs were more abundant in ‘Zhongai 3’ shoot tips than in ‘Zaosu’ shoot tips. The abundance of Pyr-miR171f and PyrSCL6 and PyrSCL22 mRNAs increased, but the trends were opposite between Pyr-miR171f and its target mRNAs in tissue culture seedlings treated by IAA. Our results suggest that IAA-induced miR171f negatively regulates the IAA signaling cascade via the GRAS pathway to maintain apical dominance. This work reveals a role for the miR171-SCL pathway in the dwarfing of ‘Zhongai 3’, and provides a theoretical basis for dwarf pear breeding.


IAA Dwarf MicroRNA miR171 Pear SCL 



This work was supported by the Pear Modern Agro-industry Technology Research System CARS 28-08, the National Science and Technology Support Program (2013BAD01B04, 2013BAD02B01), CAA-ASTIP, and Fundamental Research Funds for Central Non-profit Scientific Institution (1610032012008).

Data archiving statement

PyrSCL6 (XM_018644293.1) and PyrSCL22 (XM_009344784.2) were obtained from the NCBI database ( The locations of miR171 family members are listed in Supplemental Table 5.

Supplementary material

11295_2018_1233_MOESM1_ESM.jpg (1018 kb)
Supplemental Fig. 1 Phenotypes of tissue culture seedlings treated with IAA and TIBA. Control denotes the control tissue culture seedlings treated with sterile water. IAA and TIBA denote the tissue culture seedlings treated with 200 μM IAA and 80 mg/L TIBA, respectively. (JPEG 1018 kb)
11295_2018_1233_MOESM2_ESM.jpg (496 kb)
Supplemental Fig. 2 The branching phenotype on the tops of ‘Zaosu’shoot and ‘Zhongai 3′ shoot. The shoots of ‘Zaosu’ and ‘Zhongai 3′ were collected on August 17, 2016. Bar = 2 cm. (JPEG 496 kb)
11295_2018_1233_MOESM3_ESM.docx (26 kb)
ESM 1 Supplemental Table 1. Primers of PyrMIRNA171 and targets. Restriction enzyme sites are underlined. Supplemental Table 2. Primers for miRNA 5′-RACE analysis. Adaptor is the first PCR forward primer; F is the nested PCR forward primer; PyrSCL6-R1 and PyrSCL22-R1 are the specific reverse transcription primers and the first round of PCR reverse primers; PyrSCL6-R2 and PyrSCL22-R2 are nested PCR reverse primers. Supplemental Table 3. Mature miRNA clones and quantitative RT-PCR primers. Supplemental Table 4. Primers of miRNA targets for quantitative RT-PCR. Supplemental Table 5. MiR171s with GRAS family target genes. (DOCX 25 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Shuling Jiang
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  • Qiuju Chen
    • 2
    • 3
  • Qiulei Zhang
    • 1
  • Yi Zhang
    • 1
  • Ningning Hao
    • 2
    • 3
  • Chunqing Ou
    • 2
    • 3
  • Fei Wang
    • 2
    • 3
  • Tianzhong Li
    • 1
  1. 1.Laboratory of Fruit Cell and Molecular BreedingChina Agricultural UniversityBeijingChina
  2. 2.Key Laboratory of Biology and Genetic Improvement of Horticultural Crops (Germplasm Resources Utilization)Ministry of AgricultureXingchengPeople’s Republic of China
  3. 3.Institute of PomologyChinese Academy of Agricultural SciencesXingchengChina

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