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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: MOLECULAR BIOLOGY AND PHYSIOLOGY OF BITING FLIES AFFECTING LIVESTOCK

Location: Tick and Biting Fly Research

Title: Discovery of microRNAs of the stable fly (Diptera: Muscidae) by high-throughput sequencing

Authors
item Tuckow, Alexander
item Temeyer, Kevin
item Olafson, Pia
item Perez De Leon, Adalberto

Submitted to: Journal of Medical Entomology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: March 26, 2013
Publication Date: July 1, 2013
Citation: Tuckow, A.P., Temeyer, K.B., Olafson, P.U., Perez De Leon, A.A. 2013. Discovery of microRNAs of the stable fly (Diptera: Muscidae) by high-throughput sequencing. Journal of Medical Entomology. 50(4):925-930.

Interpretive Summary: The stable fly is an agricultural pest that affects beef and dairy cattle production leading to substantial economic losses. Stable fly control relies largely on chemical insecticides, however, development of insecticide resistance as well as environmental considerations demand support for discovery and development of novel control technologies. A very large portion of the genomes of complex organisms was once considered "junk DNA" because it did not contain protein coding genes; however, these regions of DNA do in fact lead to generation of non-coding RNAs with true biological function. The role of non-coding RNAs has only recently become appreciated and presents a new frontier for exploration of the specific roles of these molecules as the foundation for development of novel control technology. The first step in this process is to identify the types of short non-coding RNAs present within specific pest organisms as a basis for further study to elucidate their biological functions. MicroRNAs are one such class of short non-coding RNAs that have been shown to be important regulators of gene expression across a wide variety of organisms. The present study reports discovery and initial comparative analysis of microRNA sequences from the stable fly. This information serves as an initial step in characterizing these small RNAs and provides a basis for further analyses of their life stage and tissue-specific expression to elucidate the roles of these microRNAs in stable fly biology.

Technical Abstract: The stable fly, Stomoxys calcitrans (Linnaeus), is a serious ectoparasite affecting animal production and health of both animals and humans. Stable fly control relies largely on chemical insecticides; however, the development of insecticide resistance, as well as environmental considerations, requires continued discovery research to develop novel control technologies. MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are a class of short non-coding RNAs that have been shown to be important regulators of gene expression across a wide variety of organisms and may provide an innovative approach with regard to development of safer more targeted control technologies. The present study reports discovery and initial comparative analysis of 88 presumptive microRNA sequences from the stable fly obtained utilizing high-throughput sequencing of small RNAs. The majority of stable fly miRNAs were 22-23 nt in length. Many miRNAs were arthropod specific and several mature miRNA sequences showed greater sequence identity to miRNAs from other blood feeding dipterans such as mosquitoes rather than to Drosophilids. This initial step in characterizing the stable fly microRNAome provides a basis for further analyses of life stage and tissue-specific expression to elucidate their functional roles in stable fly biology.

Last Modified: 9/1/2014
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