The Evolutionary History of Small RNAs in the Solanaceae
ABSTRACTThe Solanaceae or "nightshade" family is an economically important group that harbors a remarkable amount of diversity. To gain a better understanding of how the unique biology of the Solanaceae relates to the family's small RNA genomic landscape, we downloaded over 255 publicly available small RNA datasets that comprise over 2.6 billion reads of sequence data. We applied a suite of computational tools to predict and annotate two major small RNA classes: (1) microRNAs (miRNAs),
... 20-22 nt RNAs generated from a hairpin precursor and functioning in gene silencing, and (2) short interfering RNAs (siRNAs), including 24-nt heterochromatic siRNAs (hc-siRNAs) typically functioning to repress repetitive regions of the genome via RNA-directed DNA methylation, as well as secondary phased siRNAs (phasiRNAs) and trans-acting siRNAs (tasiRNAs) generated via miRNA-directed cleavage of a Pol II-derived RNA precursor. Our analyses described thousands of small RNA loci, including poorly-understood clusters of 22-nt siRNAs that accumulate during viral infection. The birth, death, expansion, and contraction of these small RNA loci are dynamic evolutionary processes that characterize the Solanaceae family. These analyses indicate that individuals within the same genus share similar small RNA landscapes, whereas comparisons between distinct genera within the Solanaceae reveal relatively few commonalities.ONE-SENTENCE SUMMARYWe use over 255 publicly-available small RNA datasets to characterize the small RNA landscape for the Solanaceae family.