Location: Arthropod-borne Animal Diseases Research
Project Number: 3020-32000-010-016-S
Project Type: Non-Assistance Cooperative Agreement
Start Date: Jun 1, 2021
End Date: May 31, 2022
Culicoides biting midges are important agricultural pests and vectors of several viral diseases of livestock and wildlife, including the hemorrhagic orbiviruses. Several studies in mosquitoes have shown that small non-coding RNAs (ncRNA) are important in virus-vector interactions and regulate their defense against pathogens. This has improved understanding the ability of mosquitoes to transmit various viruses. To adapt this type of research to Culicoides to improve our understanding of their innate responses to the arboviruses they transmit, we must start with first identifying and characterizing the small ncRNA populations within the midge. We isolated RNA from blood-fed and non-fed whole midges and midge midguts from which a small RNA library was derived. The objective of this agreement is to conduct small ncRNA transcriptome analysis using a bioinformatic approach.
A bioinformatic approach will be used to analyze the small RNA gene library to 1) construct and annotate a small ncRNA catalog for Culicoides sonorensis midges, 2) identify potential novel microRNAs, 3) identify tissue-enriched small ncRNAs, and 4) identify differentially-expressed small ncRNAs.