Identification of Cumin (Cuminum cyminum) MicroRNAs through Deep Sequencing and Their Impact on Plant Secondary Metabolism
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionPlants. 2023, 12 (9), 1756. 10.3390/plants12091756
The pharmacological properties of plants lie in the content of secondary metabolites that are classified into different categories based on their biosynthesis, structures, and functions. MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are small non-coding RNA molecules that play crucial post-transcriptional regulatory roles in plants, including development and stress-response signaling; however, information about their involvement in secondary metabolism is still limited. Cumin is one of the most popular seeds from the plant Cuminum cyminum, with extensive applications in herbal medicine and cooking; nevertheless, no previous studies focus on the miRNA profile of cumin. In this study, the miRNA profile of C. cyminum and its association with the biosynthesis of secondary metabolites were determined using NGS technology. The sequencing data yielded 10,956,054 distinct reads with lengths ranging from 16 to 40 nt, of which 349 miRNAs were found to be conserved and 39 to be novel miRNAs. Moreover, this work identified 1959 potential target genes for C. cyminum miRNAs. It is interesting to note that several conserved and novel miRNAs have been found to specifically target important terpenoid backbone, flavonoid biosynthesis, and lipid/fatty acid pathways enzymes. We believe this investigation will aid in elucidating the implications of miRNAs in plant secondary metabolism.