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Int J Biol Sci 2014; 10(5):500-510. doi:10.7150/ijbs.8065

Research Paper

Profiling of MicroRNAs under Wound Treatment in Aquilaria sinensis to Identify Possible MicroRNAs Involved in Agarwood Formation

Zhi-Hui Gao1, Yun Yang2, Zheng Zhang1, Wen-Ting Zhao1, Hui Meng2, Yue Jin1, Jun-Qing Huang1, Yan-Hong Xu1, Li-Zi Zhao1, Juan Liu1, Jian-He Wei1,2✉

1. Institute of Medicinal Plant Development, Chinese Academy of Medical Science & Peking Union Medicinal College (National Engineering Laboratory for Breeding of Endangered Medicinal Materials), Beijing 100193, China
2. Hainan Branch, Institute of Medicinal Plant Development (Hainan Provincial Key Laboratory of Resources Conservation and Development of Southern Medicine), Chinese Academy of Medical Science & Peking Union Medicinal College, Wanning 571533, China


Agarwood, a kind of highly valued non-timber product across Asia, is formed only when its resource trees -- the endangered genus Aquilaria are wounded or infected by some microbes. To promote the efficiency of agarwood production and protect the wild resource of Aquilaria species, we urgently need to reveal the regulation mechanism of agarwood formation. MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are a group of gene expression regulators with overwhelming effects on a large spectrum of biological processes. However, their roles in agarwood formation remain unknown. This work aimed at identifying possible miRNAs involved in the wound induced agarwood formation. In this study, the high-throughput sequencing was adopted to identify miRNAs and monitor their expression under wound treatment in the stems of A. sinensis. The miR171, miR390, miR394, miR2111, and miR3954 families remained at the reduced level two days after the treatment. 131 homologous miRNAs in the 0.5 h library showed over three-fold variation of read number compared with the control library, of which 12 exhibiting strong expression alterations were further confirmed by real-time quantitative PCR. Target prediction and annotation of the miRNAs demonstrated that the binding, metabolic process, catalytic activity, and cellular process are the most common functions of the predicted targets of these newly identified miRNAs in A.sinensis. The cleaveage sites of three newly predicted targets were verified by 5'RACE.

Keywords: microRNA, Agarwood, Aquilaria sinensis, wound, small RNA

This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY-NC) License. See for full terms and conditions.
How to cite this article:
Gao ZH, Yang Y, Zhang Z, Zhao WT, Meng H, Jin Y, Huang JQ, Xu YH, Zhao LZ, Liu J, Wei JH. Profiling of MicroRNAs under Wound Treatment in Aquilaria sinensis to Identify Possible MicroRNAs Involved in Agarwood Formation. Int J Biol Sci 2014; 10(5):500-510. doi:10.7150/ijbs.8065. Available from