Long noncoding RNAs in Brassica rapa L. following vernalization

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Scientific Reports, 2019, 9 (1)
Issue Date:
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© 2019, The Author(s). Brassica rapa L. is an important agricultural crop that requires a period of prolonged cold for flowering. This process is known as vernalization. Studies have shown that long noncoding RNAs (lncRNAs) play important roles in abiotic stress responses and several cold-responsive noncoding RNAs have been suggested to be involved in vernalization. We examined the transcriptome of the Chinese cabbage inbred line (B. rapa L. var. pekinensis) RJKB-T24, and identified 1,444 long intergenic noncoding RNAs (lincRNAs), 551 natural antisense transcripts (NATs), and 93 intronic noncoding RNAs (incRNAs); 549 of the 2,088 lncRNAs significantly altered their expression in response to four weeks of cold treatment. Most differentially expressed lncRNAs did not lead to a change of expression levels in mRNAs covering or near lncRNAs, suggesting that the transcriptional responses to four weeks of cold treatment in lncRNA and mRNA are independent. However, some differentially expressed mRNAs had NATs with expression altered in the same direction. These genes were categorized as having an abiotic stress response, suggesting that the paired-expression may play a role in the transcriptional response to vernalization or cold treatment. We also identified short-term cold treatment induced NATs in BrFLC and BrMAF genes, which are involved in vernalization. The lncRNAs we identified differed from those reported in Arabidopsis thaliana, suggesting the role of lncRNAs in vernalization differ between these two species.
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