Document Type : Research Paper
1 University of Zanjan
2 Department of Production Engineering & Plant Genetics, University of Zanjan, Iran
3 Agricultral & Natural Resourses Collage, University of Tehran, Karaj, Iran
4 Department of Agronomy and Plant Breeding, Faculty of Agriculture, University of Zanjan, Zanjan, Iran
MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are small RNAs of about 22 nucleotides. They are commonly known for their essential roles in regulating biotic and abiotic stress response in plants. Drought stress is one of the most common problems for wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) productivity in Iran. The present study evaluated the expression of miR9863a and its drought-related target genes (PLGG1 and SAR1A) in wheat and three Aegilops species under drought stress. Drought stress was induced by limiting the irrigation, maintaining the soil moisture at 20% field capacity for 14 days, followed by 3 days without water supply. The results showed the differently expression of miR9863a in the shoot of the studied plants under drought stress condition, so that its expression was increased in Ae. tauschii and Ae. crassa and decreased in Ae. cylindrica. This difference expression could be due to the mixing of RNAs of different tissues of shoots or the nature of miRNA as a mediator molecule in various biological processes. By considering the expression pattern of miR9863a and its target genes in Ae. tauschii, it could be attributed to the effect of miR9863a in response to drought stress by PLGG1 through its role in glycerate/glycolate transfers and SAR1A through the role of trafficking of transcription factors from the endoplasmic reticulum to the nucleus. Also, as a complement to previous studies on the role of miR9863 in countering plant diseases, the results herein demonstrated how this miRNA assists the abiotic stress-response mechanism in plants, with an emphasis on drought stress.