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Validation and characterization of Citrus sinensis microRNAs and their target genes

Changnian Song1, Mingliang Yu2, Jian Han1, Chen Wang1, Hong Liu1, Yanping Zhang1 and Jinggui Fang1*

Author Affiliations

1 College of Horticulture, Nanjing Agricultural University, 1 Weigang, Nanjing, 210095, China

2 Institute of Horticulture, Jiangsu Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Nanjing, 210014, China

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BMC Research Notes 2012, 5:235  doi:10.1186/1756-0500-5-235

Published: 15 May 2012



MicroRNAs play vital role in plant growth and development by changeable expression of their target genes with most plant microRNAs having perfect or near-perfect complementarities with their target genes but miRNAs in Citrus sinensis (csi-miRNAs) and their function have not been widely studied.


In this study, 15 potential microRNAs in Citrus sinensis (csi-miRNAs) were identified and bioinformatically validated using miR-RACE, a newly developed method for determination of miRNAs prediction computationally. The expression of these fifteen C. sinensis miRNAs can be detected in leaves, stems, flowers and fruits of C. sinensis by QRT-PCR with some of them showed tissue-specific expression. Six potential target genes were identified for six csi-miRNAs and also experimentally verified by Poly (A) polymerase -mediated 3′ rapid amplification of cDNA ends (PPM-RACE) and RNA ligase-mediated 5′ rapid amplification of cDNA ends (RLM-RACE) which mapped the cleavage site of target mRNAs and detected expression patterns of cleaved fragments that indicate the regulatory function of the miRNAs on their target genes.


Our results confirm that small RNA-mediated regulation whereby all csi-miRNAs regulate their target genes by degradation.