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Insect Sci. 2016 Jun;23(3):452-68. doi: 10.1111/1744-7917.12343. Epub 2016 May 18.

Identification and characterization of microRNAs in the white-backed planthopper, Sogatella furcifera.

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School of Life Sciences, University of Science and Technology of China, Hefei, China.
CAS Key Laboratory of Innate Immunity and Chronic Disease, School of Life Sciences and Medical Center, University of Science and Technology of China, Hefei, China.


MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are a novel class of small, non-coding endogenous RNAs that play critical regulatory roles in many metabolic activities in eukaryotes. Reports of the identification of miRNAs in Sogatella furcifera (white-backed planthopper), the insect that acts as the only confirmed vector of the southern rice black-streaked dwarf virus (SRBSDV), are limited. In this study, a total of 382 miRNAs were identified in S. furcifera, including 106 conserved and 276 novel miRNAs, using high-throughput sequencing based on two small RNA libraries from viruliferous and non-viruliferous S. furcifera, and these miRNAs belonged to 52 conserved miRNA families and 58 S. furcifera-specific families, respectively. Comparison with miRNAs from 26 insect species and five other species in miRBase showed that more than half of the conserved miRNA families are highly conserved in Hexapoda, while other miRNAs are only conserved in non-dipterans. Furthermore, 4 117 target genes predicted for the 382 identified miRNAs could be categorized into 45 functional groups annotated by Gene Ontology. Compared with non-viruliferous cells, eight up-regulated miRNAs and four down-regulated miRNAs were identified in cells inoculated with SRBSDV, among which miR-14 and miR-n98a may be involved in the immune response to SRBSDV infection. Analyses of the identified miRNAs will provide insights into the roles of these miRNAs in the regulation and expression of genes involved in the metabolism, development and viral infection of S. furcifera.


SRBSDV; Sogatella furcifera; evolution; functional shift; genomic cluster; microRNA

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