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MiR393 And Secondary SiRNAs Regulate Expression Of The TIR1/AFB2 Auxin Receptor Clade And Auxin-Related Development Of Arabidopsis Leaves    

Azeddine Si-Ammour, David Windels, Estelle Arn-Bouldoires, Claudia Kutter, Jérôme Ailhas, Frederick Meins, Franck Vazquez

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Abstract The phytohormone auxin is a key regulator of plant growth and development that exerts its functions through F-box receptors. Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana) has four partially redundant of these receptors that comprise the TRANSPORT INHIBITOR RESPONSE1/AUXIN SIGNALING F-BOX1 auxin receptor (TAAR) clade. Recent studies have shown that the microRNA miR393 regulates the expression of different sets of TAAR genes following pathogen infection or nitrate treatment. Here we report that miR393 helps regulate auxin-related development of leaves. We found that AtMIR393B is the predominant source for miR393 in all aerial organs and that miR393 down-regulates all four TAAR genes by guiding the cleavage of their mRNAs. A mutant unable to produce miR393 shows developmental abnormalities of leaves and cotyledons reminiscent of enhanced auxin perception by TAARs. Interestingly, miR393 initiates the biogenesis of secondary siRNAs from the transcripts of at least two of the four TAAR genes. Our results indicate that these siRNAs, which we call siTAARs, help regulate the expression of TAAR genes as well as several unrelated genes by guiding the cleavage of their mRNAs. Thus, miR393 and possibly siTAARs regulate auxin perception and certain auxin-related aspects of leaf development.