Int J Biol Sci 2011; 7(2):180-192. doi:10.7150/ijbs.7.180

Research Paper

Novel and Conserved Micrornas in Dalian Purple Urchin (Strongylocentrotus Nudus) Identified by Next Generation Sequencing

Zhenlin Wei1, 2, Xiaolin Liu1✉, Tingting Feng1, Yaqing Chang3

1. College of Animal Science and Technology, Northwest A&F University; Shaanxi Key Laboratory of Agricultural Molecular Biology, Yangling, Shaanxi, 712100, CHINA
2. Biology Science Department, Dezhou University, Dezhou, Shandong, 253023, CHINA
3. College of Life Science and Technology, Dalian Fisheries University, Dalian ,116023, CHINA

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Wei Z, Liu X, Feng T, Chang Y. Novel and Conserved Micrornas in Dalian Purple Urchin (Strongylocentrotus Nudus) Identified by Next Generation Sequencing. Int J Biol Sci 2011; 7(2):180-192. doi:10.7150/ijbs.7.180. Available from

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MicroRNAs are regulators in regulation of broad range of phenotypes. The purple urchin, Strongylocentrotus nudus, is one of the most important marine economic animals that widely distributed in the cold seas along the coasts of eastern pacific area. To date, only 45 microRNAs have been identified in a related species, Strongylocentrotus purpurtus, and there is no report on S. nudus microRNAs. Herein, solexa sequencing technology was used to high throughput sequencing analysis of microRNAs in small RNA library isolated from five tissues of S. nudus. Totally, 8,966,865 reads were yielded, 131,015 of which were related to 415 unique microRNAs including 345 deuterostoma conserved and 70 urchin specific microRNAs, as well as 5 microRNA* sequences. The miRNA features including length distribution, end variations and genomic locations were characterized. Annotation of targets revealed a broad range of biological processes and signal transduction pathways that regulated by urchin miRNAs, of which signal transduction mechanisms was the subgroup containing the maximum targets. In addition, the expression of 100 miRNAs in female gonad was confirmed using microRNA microarray analysis. This study provides a first large scale cloning and characterization of S.nudus miRNAs and their potential targets, providing the foundation for further characterization for their role in the regulation of diversity of physiological processes.

Keywords: Strongylocentrotus nudus, microRNA, Target, Solexa.