The identification of microRNAs involved in the response of Chinese shrimpFenneropenaeus chinensisto white spot syndrome virus infection

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MicroRNA (miRNA) is a class of small noncoding RNA, which is involved in the post-transcriptional regulation in all metazoan eukaryotes. MiRNAs might play an important role in the host response to virus infection. However, miRNAs in the aquatic crustacean species were not extensively investigated. To obtain a better understanding of the response of Chinese shrimp Fenneropenaeus chinensis to white spot syndrome virus (WSSV) infection, the sequence and expression profile of miRNAs in the hepatopancreas of WSSV-infected F. chinensis were obtained by the high-throughput Illumina HiSeq 2500 deep sequencing technique. A total number of 129 known miRNAs and 44 putative novel miRNAs were identified from the deep sequencing data. The peak size of miRNAs was 22 nt (37.0%). 25 miRNAs were significantly (P < 0.05) differentially expressed post WSSV infection. Six of the differentially expressed miRNAs were randomly selected for further verification by the real-time RT-PCR technique. The results showed that there was a consistency between the deep sequencing and real-time RT-PCR assay. The target genes of differentially expressed miRNAs were predicted. Each miRNA had 4 target genes on average. The results suggested that some specific miRNAs might be involved in the response of F. chinensis to WSSV infection, and further provided basic information for the investigation of specific miRNAs in F. chinensis.

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