microRNAs (miRNAs) are important regulators of animal development and other processes, and impart robustness to living systems through post-transcriptional regulation of specific mRNA transcripts. It is postulated that newly emergent miRNAs are generally expressed at low levels and with spatiotemporally restricted expression domains, thus minimising effects of spurious targeting on animal transcriptomes. Here we present ovarian miRNA transcriptome data for two geographically distinct populations of the Speckled Wood butterfly (Pararge aegeria). A total of 74 miRNAs were identified, including 11 newly discovered and evolutionarily-young miRNAs, bringing the total of miRNA genes known from P. aegeria up to 150. We find a positive correlation between miRNA age and expression level. A common set of 55 miRNAs are expressed in both populations. From this set, we identify seven that are consistently either ovary-specific or highly upregulated in ovaries relative to other tissues. This ‘ovary set’ includes miRNAs with known contributions to ovarian function in other insect species with similar ovaries and mode of oogenesis, including miR-989 and miR-2763, plus new candidates for ovarian function. We also note that conserved miRNAs are overrepresented in the ovary relative to the whole body.
Quah, SBreuker, CHolland, P
Faculty of Health and Life Sciences\Department of Biological and Medical Sciences
Year of publication: 2015Date of RADAR deposit: 2016-02-05