Phytoplasma-responsive microRNAs modulate hormonal, nutritional, and stress signalling pathways in Mexican lime trees

Farveh Ehya, Aboozar Monavarfeshani, Ehsan Mohseni Fard, Laleh Karimi Farsad, Mojtaba Khayam Nekouei, Mohsen Mardi*, Ghasem Hosseini Salekdeh

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

49 Citations (Scopus)
5 Downloads (Pure)


Background:Witches' broom disease of Mexican lime (Citrus aurantifolia L.), which is associated to the phytoplasma 'Candidatus Phytoplasma aurantifolia', is a devastating disease that results in significant economic losses. Plants adapt to biotic stresses by regulating gene expression at the transcriptional and post-transcriptional levels. MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are a recently identified family of molecules that regulate plant responses to environmental stresses through post-transcriptional gene silencing.Methods:Using a high-throughput approach to sequence small RNAs, we compared the expression profiles of miRNAs in healthy Mexican lime trees and in plants infected with 'Ca. P. aurantifolia'.Results:Our results demonstrated the involvement of different miRNAs in the response of Mexican lime trees to infection by 'Ca. P. aurantifolia'. We identified miRNA families that are expressed differentially upon infection with phytoplasmas. Most of the miRNAs had variants with small sequence variations (isomiRs), which are expressed differentially in response to pathogen infection.Conclusions:It is likely that the miRNAs that are expressed differentially in healthy and phytoplasma-infected Mexican lime trees are involved in coordinating the regulation of hormonal, nutritional, and stress signalling pathways, and the complex interactions between them. Future research to elucidate the roles of these miRNAs should improve our understanding of the level of diversity of specific plant responses to phytoplasmas.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere66372
Pages (from-to)1-10
Number of pages10
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 18 Jun 2013
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Copyright the Author(s) 2013. Version archived for private and non-commercial use with the permission of the author/s and according to publisher conditions. For further rights please contact the publisher.


Dive into the research topics of 'Phytoplasma-responsive microRNAs modulate hormonal, nutritional, and stress signalling pathways in Mexican lime trees'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this