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Article|19 Feb 2022|OPEN
Functional analysis of the eTM-miR171-SCL6 module regulating somatic embryogenesis in Lilium pumilum DC. Fisch
Rui Yan1,2 , Shengli Song1 and Hongyu Li3 , Hongmei Sun,1 ,
1Key Laboratory of Protected Horticulture of Education Ministry, College of Horticulture, Shenyang Agricultural University, National and Local Joint Engineering Research Center of Northern Horticultural Facilities Design and Application Technology, Shenyang 110866, China
2School of Agriculture, Ningxia University, Yinchuan, Ningxia 750021, China
3College of Life Science and Bioengineering, Shenyang University, Shenyang 110866, China
*Corresponding author. E-mail: sunhm@syau.edu.cn

Horticulture Research 9,
Article number: uhac045 (2022)
doi: https://doi.org/10.1093/hr/uhac045
Views: 14

Received: 06 Sep 2021
Accepted: 04 Feb 2022
Published online: 19 Feb 2022

Abstract

Somatic embryogenesis (SE) is of great significance in Lilium bulb production, germplasm preservation, and genetic improvement. miRNAs are important regulators of plant growth and development at the transcriptional level. Previous research by our group has shown that lpu-miR171 and its target gene SCARECROW-LIKE 6 (SCL6) play an important regulatory role in lily SE, and we predicted and identified that endogenous target mimics (eTMs) can regulate lpu-miR171. However, the associated mechanism and internal regulatory network are not yet clear. In the present study, lpu-miR171 was used as an entry point to explore the regulatory network between its upstream eTMs and its downstream target gene LpSCL6, as well as to identify the mechanism of this regulatory network in Lilium SE. Tobacco transient transformation confirmed that miRNA171 significantly inhibited the expression of LpSCL6. On this basis, the Lilium stable genetic transformation system was used to demonstrate that silencing lpu-miR171a and lpu-miR171b and overexpressing LpSCL6-II and LpSCL6-I promoted starch accumulation in calli and the expression of key cell cycle genes, thus providing energy to meet preconditions for SE and accelerate the formation and development of Lilium somatic embryos. LpSCL6-II and LpSCL6-I are nuclear proteins with self-activation activity in yeast cells. In addition, we confirmed in Lilium that lpu-eTM171 is the eTM of lpu-miR171 that binds lpu-miR171 to prevent cleavage of the target gene LpSCL6, thereby promoting SE. Therefore, the present study established a new mechanism whereby the eTM-miR171-SCL6 module regulates SE in Lilium pumilum and provides new insights clarifying the mechanism of SE.