miR828 and miR858 regulate homoeologous MYB2 gene functions in Arabidopsis trichome and cotton fibre development. Academic Article uri icon


  • Although polyploidy is common in plants and some animals, mechanisms for functional divergence between homoeologous genes are poorly understood. MYB2 gene promotes cotton fibre development and is functionally homologous to Arabidopsis GLABROUS1 (GL1) in trichome formation. The most widely cultivated cotton is an allotetraploid (Gossypium hirsutum, AADD) that contains GhMYB2A and GhMYB2D homoeologs. Here we show that GhMYB2D mRNA accumulates more than GhMYB2A during fibre initiation and is targeted by miR828 and miR858, generating trans-acting siRNAs (ta-siRNAs) in the TAS4 family. Overexpressing GhMYB2A but not GhMYB2D complements the gl1 phenotype. Mutating the miR828-binding site or replacing its downstream sequence in GhMYB2D abolishes ta-siRNA production and restores trichome development in gl1 mutants. Moreover, disrupting Dicer-like protein 4 or RDR6, the biogenesis genes for ta-siRNAs, in the gl1 GhMYB2D overexpressors restores trichome development. These data support a unique role for microRNAs in functional divergence between target homoeologous genes that are important for evolution and selection of morphological traits.

published proceedings

  • Nat Commun

author list (cited authors)

  • Guan, X., Pang, M., Nah, G., Shi, X., Ye, W., Stelly, D. M., & Chen, Z. J.

citation count

  • 152

complete list of authors

  • Guan, Xueying||Pang, Mingxiong||Nah, Gyoungju||Shi, Xiaoli||Ye, Wenxue||Stelly, David M||Chen, Z Jeffrey

publication date

  • January 2014