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Prediction of potential novel microRNAs in soybean when in symbiosis

Author(s): G.A. Barros-Carvalho1,2, A.R. Paschoal3, F.C. Marcelino-Guimarães1 and M. Hungria1

MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are small molecules, noncoding proteins that are involved in many biological processes, especially in plants; among these processes is nodulation in the legume. Biological nitrogen fixation is a key process, with critical importance to the soybean crop. This study aimed to identify the potential of novel miRNAs to act during the root nodulation process. We utilized a set of transcripts that were differentially expressed in soybean roots 10 days after inoculation with Bradyrhizobium japonicum, which were obtained in a previous study, and performed a set of computational analyses that led us to select new miRNAs potentially involved in nodulation. Among these analyses, the set of transcripts were submitted to an in silico annotation of noncoding RNAs, including a search of similarity against miRNA public databases, ab initio tools for miRNA identification, structural search against miRNA families, prediction of the secondary structure of miRNA precursors, and prediction of the sequences of mature miRNAs.