The disease resistance protein SNC1 represses the biogenesis of microRNAs and phased siRNAs

Qiang Cai, Chao Liang, Suikang Wang, Yingnan Hou, Lei Gao, Li Liu, Wenrong He, Wenbo Ma, Beixing Mo, Xuemei Chen

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56 Citations (Scopus)


Plants evolved an array of disease resistance genes (R genes) to fight pathogens. In the absence of pathogen infection, NBS-LRR genes, which comprise a major subfamily of R genes, are suppressed by a small RNA cascade involving microRNAs (miRNAs) that trigger the biogenesis of phased siRNAs (phasiRNAs) from R gene transcripts. However, whether or how R genes influence small RNA biogenesis is unknown. In this study, we isolate a mutant with global defects in the biogenesis of miRNAs and phasiRNAs in Arabidopsis thaliana and trace the defects to the over accumulation and nuclear localization of an R protein SNC1. We show that nuclear SNC1 represses the transcription of miRNA and phasiRNA loci, probably through the transcriptional corepressor TPR1. Intriguingly, nuclear SNC1 reduces the accumulation of phasiRNAs from three source R genes and concomitantly, the expression of a majority of the ~170R genes is up-regulated. Taken together, this study suggests an R gene-miRNA-phasiRNA regulatory module that amplifies plant immune responses.

Original languageEnglish
Article number5080
JournalNature Communications
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2018

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