Biodiv Sci ›› 2012, Vol. 20 ›› Issue (1): 86-93.  DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1003.2012.08123

• Methodologies • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Short RNAs, potential novel molecular markers for higher plants

Wen Liu, Hong Liang, Biren Yang, Jiewen Lin, Yanji Hu()   

  1. College of Life Sciences, Zhongkai University of Agriculture and Engineering, Guangzhou 510225
  • Received:2011-07-22 Accepted:2011-10-16 Online:2012-01-20 Published:2012-02-14
  • Contact: Yanji Hu


In recent years, molecular biology techniques, especially molecular markers, have been applied to the study of species similarity and evolutionary relationships in the field of plant systematics. Here, we attempted to find a small fragment of RNA that could be used as a molecular marker for the rapid identification of plant taxa above genus. To do so, total nucleic acids were isolated from 53 species of higher plants using SDS extracting solution containing HAc-NaAc buffer. The isolated nucleic acids were subjected to 7% polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (PAGE). Results showed: (1) A large number of bands, which were at the length of 100-200 bases and with clear shape. The bands patterns were stable and repeatable. These segments were confirmed to be short RNAs by DNaseI and RNaseA treatment; (2) No obvious differences in band patterns were found among different varieties, organs, sexualities and ploidy of kiwifruit seedlings. A similar case existed in mung bean seedlings after different light treatment periods; (3) Banding patterns of plants in the same family were polymorphic, with differences mainly related to geographic isolation. Higher taxonomic categories had a higher percentage of polymorphic band (PPB) and higher values of polymorphism information content (PIC) than lower taxonomic categories; (4) Three to six clear bands with a length of 100-200 bases, whose band patterns were related to the phylogenic relationship, were found through comparison of short RNAs from 53 species of ferns, gymnosperms and angiosperms. Thus, short RNAs with a length of 100-200 bases showed potential as a molecular marker for determining inter- or intrafamily phylogenic relationships.

Key words: SDS method, total nucleic acid, short RNA, phylogenic relationship, molecular markers