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Low light conditions alter genome-wide profiles of circular RNAs in rice grains during grain filling
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  • Hong Chen,
  • Tao Wang,
  • Zhiyou Gong,
  • Hui Lu,
  • Yong Chen,
  • Fei Deng,
  • Wanjun Ren
Hong Chen
Sichuan Agricultural University
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Tao Wang
Sichuan Agricultural University
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Zhiyou Gong
Sichuan Agricultural University
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Hui Lu
Sichuan Agricultural University
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Yong Chen
Sichuan Agricultural University
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Fei Deng
Sichuan Agricultural University
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Wanjun Ren
Sichuan Agricultural University
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Abstract

In animals and plants, circRNAs regulate gene expression and act as sponges that inhibit the activity of microRNAs. This study aimed to determine how specific circRNAs are expressed in rice grains at different stages of grain filling, under normal and low light conditions. We extracted total RNA from rice grains under low and sufficient light conditions. Deep sequencing was performed using circRNA libraries, and bioinformatics tools were used to identify the circRNAs. In addition, we analyzed targeted messenger RNA functions using two databases to predict the processes involved in rice grain development, and we conducted real-time PCR on 15 of the circRNAs. During the grain development process, 8015 candidate circRNAs were isolated, among which the number of known circRNAs was 1661. We also found that the number of circRNAs changed with the time of development. Among them, six circRNAs acted as sponges that targeted more than two microRNAs at different stages of development, and these circRNAs showed a regulatory pattern consistent with the transcriptome sequencing results. However, no differential circRNA expression was found under different light treatments. These findings reveal a possible link between circRNA regulation and the expression of the functional genes associated with photosignal-mediated rice grain development.