MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are a group of small RNAs involved in various biological processes through negative regulation of mRNAs at the post-transcriptional level. Although miRNA profiles have been documented in over two dozen insect species, few are agricultural pests. In this study, both conserved and novel miRNAs in the diamondback moth, Plutella xylostella L., a devastating insect pest of cruciferous crops worldwide, were documented. High-throughput sequencing of a small RNA library constructed from a mixed life stages of P. xylostella, including eggs, 1st to 4th (last) instar larvae, pupae and adults, identified 384 miRNAs, of which 174 were P. xylostella specific. In addition, temporal expressions of 234 miRNAs at various developmental stages were investigated using a customized microarray analysis. Among the 91 differentially expressed miRNAs, qRT-PCR analysis was used to validate highly expressed miRNAs at each stage. The combined results not only systematically document miRNA profiles in an agriculturally important insect pest, but also provide molecular targets for future functional analysis and, ultimately, genetic-based pest control practice.
|Published - Nov 13 2013
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