Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 10/22/2015
Publication Date: N/A
Technical Abstract: The objective was to identify transfer RNA fragments (tRFs) associated with a serum antibody response to Mycoplasma spp. in beef cattle. Serum from sixteen beef calves was collected at three points: in summer after calves were born, in fall at weaning, and in the following spring. All sera collected in summer were negative IgG reactive with Mycoplasma spp. By the fall, eight animals were seropositive (positive group), while eight remained negative (negative group). By spring, all animals in both groups were positive. Small non-coding RNAs were extracted and sequenced on the Illumina HiSeq next-generation sequencer. Based on prototypical features of the transfer RNAs, a total of 261,502,003 sequences were identified as 5’ transfer RNA fragments (tRF5), and were further characterized. Sera collected in the spring from the positive group had 4.8 times more selenocysteine tRF5 sequences when compared to sera collected in the same time point from the negative group (P= 0.0135). Selenocysteine is a rarely used amino acid that is incorporated into proteins by the opal stop codon (UGA), and its function is not well understood. Production of selenocysteine tRF5 may be associated to a host defense mechanism triggered by bacterial infection, or it may provide some advantage to a pathogen during infection of a host. Further studies are needed to establish if selenocysteine tRF5 could be used as a diagnostic indicator of chronic exposure, or whether intervention strategies could be developed to be used as an alternative to antibiotics for controlling disease due to Mycoplasma spp.