Cucumis melo MicroRNA expression profile during aphid herbivory in a resistant and susceptible interaction

Sampurna Sattar, Yan Song, James A. Anstead, Ramanjulu Sunkar, Gary A. Thompson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

48 Scopus citations


Aphis gossypii resistance in melon (Cucumis melo) is due to the presence of a single dominant virus aphid transmission (Vat) gene belonging to the nucleotide-binding site leucinerich repeat family of resistance genes. Significant transcriptional reprogramming occurs in Vat+ plants during aphid infestation as metabolism shifts to respond to this biotic stress. MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are involved in the regulation of many biotic stress responses. The role of miRNAs was investigated in response to aphid herbivory during both resistant and susceptible interactions. Small RNA (smRNA) libraries were constructed from bulked leaf tissues of a Vat+ melon line following early and late aphid infestations. Sequence analysis indicated that the expression profiles of conserved and newly identified miRNAs were altered during different stages of aphid herbivory. These results were verified by quantitative polymerase chain reaction experiments in both resistant Vat+ and susceptible Vat-interactions. The comparative analyses revealed that most of the conserved miRNA families were differentially regulated during the early stages of aphid infestation in the resistant and susceptible interactions. Along with the conserved miRNA families, 18 cucurbit-specific miRNAs were expressed during the different stages of aphid herbivory. The comparison of the miRNA profiles in the resistant and susceptible interactions provides insight into the miRNA-dependent post-transcriptional gene regulation in Vat-mediated resistance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)839-848
Number of pages10
JournalMolecular Plant-Microbe Interactions
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2012

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Physiology
  • Agronomy and Crop Science


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