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ARS Home » Plains Area » Clay Center, Nebraska » U.S. Meat Animal Research Center » Genetics and Animal Breeding » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #360949

Research Project: Developing a Systems Biology Approach to Enhance Efficiency and Sustainability of Beef and Lamb Production

Location: Genetics and Animal Breeding

Title: Influence of microRNAs from semen on bovine fertility

item PERKINS, STEPHANIE - South Dakota State University
item Keel, Brittney
item NORTHROP, EMMALEE - South Dakota State University
item McDaneld, Tara
item Cushman, Robert - Bob
item HARSTINE, BO - Select Sires, Inc
item DEJARNETTE, J - Select Sires, Inc
item UTT, MATTHEW - Select Sires, Inc
item PERRY, GEORGE - South Dakota State University

Submitted to: Society for the Study of Reproduction Annual Meeting
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 4/1/2019
Publication Date: 6/1/2019
Citation: Perkins, S.D., Keel, B.N., Northrop, E.J., McDaneld, T.G., Cushman, R.A., Harstine, B.R., DeJarnette, J.M., Utt, M.D., Perry, G.A. 2019. Influence of microRNAs from semen on bovine fertility [abstract]. Society for the Study of Reproduction Annual Meeting. Abstract Program, p. 181-182. Available:

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are a family of small RNAs that play a key role in regulating gene expression by binding to complementary mRNA and altering translation. It has been reported that this alteration of specific RN As plays a role in male fertility. The objective of this study was to compare the miRNAs within sperm cells of bulls considered to have high and low fertility. Bulls were selected and assigned to low and high fertility groups (n= l 1 and n=l 2, respectively) based on being a minimum of 6.5 sire conception rate units apart (average of 13,443 inseminations per sire). Straws of semen that had been collected on two different dates (mean of 5 months apart) were obtained from Select Sires. An equal number of straws from each collection date were pooled, and RNA was extracted separately for each bull. MicroRNAs were extracted and libraries were prepared using the Illumina TruSeq Small RNA preparation kit and sequenced on an Illumina MiSeq. Paired-end reads were merged with PEAR and adaptors were trimmed using Trimmomatic. Resulting reads were then mapped to the bovine genome and quantified using miRDeep2. Differential expression analysis was conducted using the DESeq2 package in R. Of the 516 miRNAs identified, lO miRNAs were differentially expressed between bulls of high and low fertility (P < 0.05). These were bta-miR-9-5p, bta-miR-98, bta-miR-329a, bta-miR-142-5p, bta-miR-449a, bta-miR-126-5p, bta-miR-182, bta-miR-2284y, bta-miR-1839, and bta-miR-296-3p. PCR was performed to validate sequencing results on 3 miRNAs: miR-9-5p (P=0.76), miR-2284 (P=0.05), and miR-296-3p (P=0.01). Micro-RNA-296-3p is regulated by neurofibromatis 2, while miR-2284 and miR-9-5p have been identified in cells associated with immune response. These results support the idea that a small proportion of miRNAs may have a direct impact on fertility, possibly through early embryo development.