Identification and characterization of a novel miR159 target not related to MYB in tomato

Kobi Buxdorf, Anat Hendelman, Ran Stav, Moshe Lapidot, Naomi Ori, Tzahi Arazi*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

49 Scopus citations


MicroRNA 159 (miR159) is a highly conserved miRNA with roles in flowering under short days, anther development and seed germination via repression of GAMYB-like genes. In tomato, the function of miR159 (Sl-miR159) is currently unknown and target transcripts have not been experimentally validated. Here, we identified and characterized a new miR159 target gene (SGN-U567133) in Solanum lycopersicum (tomato) that is not related to MYB. SGN-U567133 is predominantly expressed in flowers and encodes a nuclear-localized protein that contains a unique NOZZLE-like domain at its N terminus. In tomato, SGN-U567133 represents a small gene family and orthologs have been identified in other plant species, all containing a conserved miR159 target site in their coding sequence. Accordingly, 5′-RACE cleavage assay supported miRNA-mediated cleavage of SGN-U567133 transcripts in vivo. Moreover, the SGN-U567133 transcript accumulated in P19-HA-expressing tomato leaves in which miRNA-mediated cleavage is inhibited. In addition, transgenic tomato plants expressing a miR159-resistant form of SGN-U567133 accumulated higher levels of the SGN-U567133 transcript and exhibited defects in leaf and flower development. Together, our results suggest that SGN-U567133 represents a novel class of miR159 targets in plants and raise the possibility that its post-transcriptional regulation by Sl-miR159 is essential for normal tomato development.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)1009-1022
Number of pages14
Issue number5
StatePublished - 2010

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Acknowledgments This work was supported by the BARD grant IS-4033-07 and by a grant from the Chief Scientist of the Israel Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development number: 256-0690-05 to T.A. This is contribution no. 120/2010 series from the Agricultural Research Organization, the Volcani Center, Israel.


  • Development
  • Flower
  • Leaf
  • MiR159
  • MiRNA
  • Tomato


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