A cytometry microparticle platform approach for screening tobacco microRNA changes after agrobacterium delivery

Joshua D. Powell, Qiang Chen, Hugh Mason

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


MicroRNAs are a class of non-coding regulatory RNAs that can modulate development as well as alter innate antiviral defenses in plants. In this study we explored changes in Nicotiana benthamiana tobacco microRNA expression as it relates to expression of a recombinant anti-Ebola GP1 antibody. The antibody was delivered to tobacco leaves through a bacterial Agrobacterium tumefaciens “agroinfiltration” expression strategy. A multiplex microparticle-based cytometry assay tracked the expression changes of 53 host tobacco microRNAs. Our results revealed that the most abundant microRNAs in actively growing leaves corresponded to nanoparticle probes specific to nta-mir-6149 and nta-miR-168b. After agroinfiltration, probes specific for nta-mir-398, and nta-mir-482d were significantly altered in their respective expression levels, however changes were partially attributed to the infiltration broth medium used in the antibody delivery process. Confirmation of nta-mir-398 and nta-mir-482d expression changes was also verified through RT-qPCR. To our knowledge this study is the first to profile medium and Agrobacterium injection at the microRNA level through a multiplex microparticle approach.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)230-235
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Microbiological Methods
StatePublished - Aug 1 2016



  • Agrobacterium tumefaciens
  • Ebola
  • Nicotiana benthamiana
  • Tobacco

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Molecular Biology
  • Microbiology (medical)

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