MicroRNA393 (miR393) is known to be involved in plant growth, development,
and multiple stress responses in annual plants such as Arabidopsis and rice.
However, the role of miR393 in perennial grasses remains unexplored.
Understanding the role of miR393 functions in a turf species such as the
economically important creeping bentgrass (Agrostis stolonifera) would allow
genetic modification for improved abiotic stress tolerance.
The team of Junming Zhao from Clemson University in USA has developed a
transgenic creeping bentgrass line overexpressing the rice Osa$B!>(BmiR393a. The
transgenic lines exhibited fewer, but longer tillers, and enhanced drought
stress tolerance due to reduced stomata density and denser cuticles. It also
displayed improved salt stress tolerance due to increased uptake of
potassium and enhanced heat stress tolerance due to induced expression of
small heat$B!>(Bshock proteins.
The results revealed the distinctive roles of miR393 in plant development
and stress responses in creeping bentgrass. miR393 would be a promising
candidate for developing improved crop cultivars with enhanced multiple