Scientific reports 2016
MicroRNA393 is involved in nitrogen-promoted rice tillering through regulation of auxin signal transduction in axillary buds.
Rice tillering has an important influence on grain yield, and is promoted by nitrogen (N) fertilizer. Several genes controlling rice tillering, which are regulated by poor N supply, have been identified. However, the molecular mechanism associated with the regulation of tillering based on N supply is poorly understood. Here, we report that rice microRNA393 (OsmiR393) is involved in N-mediated tillering by decreasing auxin signal sensitivity in axillary buds. Expression analysis showed that N fertilizer causes up-regulation of OsmiR393, but down-regulation of two target genes (erm' data-tid='339' href='#term-339'>OsAFB2 and OsTB1). In situ expression analysis showed that OsmiR393 is highly expressed in the lateral axillary meristem. OsmiR393 overexpression mimicked N-mediated tillering in wild type Zhonghua 11 (ZH11). Mutation of OsMIR393 in ZH11 repressed N-promoted tillering, which simulated the effects of limited N, and this could not be restored by supplying N fertilizer. Western blot analysis showed that OsIAA6 was accumulated in both OsmiR393-overexpressing lines and N-treated wild type rice, but was reduced in therm' data-tid='341' href='#term-341'>e OsMIR393 mutant. Therefore, we deduced that N-induced OsmiR393 accumulation reduces the expression of OsTIR1 and OsAFB2, which alleviates sensitivity to auxin in the axillary buds and stabilizes OsIAA6, thereby promoting rice tillering.