Silk proteins are synthesized and secreted by the silk gland. The differential gene expression in it leads to different silk yield among various silkworm strains. As crucial factors, microRNAs (miRNAs) regulate protein synthesis at post-transcriptional level in silk gland. MiRNAs expression level in the silk gland of three silkworm strains (Jingsong, Lan10 and Dazao) was analyzed and 33 differentially expressed miRNAs (DEMs) were discovered between JingSong (JS) and Lan10 (L10), 60 DEMs between JS and Dazao, 54 DEMs between L10 and Dazao respectively. The DEMs target genes were predicted combing with two different methods and their functions were annotated according to gene ontology. Our previous studies showed that a batch of genes related to silk yield were identified in JS and L10 strains by comparative transcriptome and quantitative trait loci (QTL) method. Thirteen DEMs whose target genes are related to protein biosynthesis processes were screened by combining with these researches. Twelve DEMs potentially regulate nineteen genes which exist in our QTL results. Six common DEMs potentially regulate the genes in both of previous results. Finally, five DEMs were selected to verify their expression levels between JS and L10 by qRT-PCR, which showed similar difference as the results of small RNA-sequencing. MiRNAs in the silk gland may directly affect silk protein biosynthesis in different silkworm strains. In current work, we identified a batch of DEMs which potentially regulate the genes related to silk yield. Further functionally study of these miRNAs will contribute to improve varieties and boost the silk yield. Our research provides a basis for studying these miRNAs and their functions in silk production.
Gene – Elsevier
Published: May 5, 2018
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