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Davis College of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Design


Division of Animal and Nutritional Sciences


Background: Egg quality is an important aspect in rainbow trout farming. Post-ovulatory aging is one of the most important factors affecting egg quality. MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are the major regulators in various biological processes and their expression profiles could serve as reliable biomarkers for various pathological and physiological conditions. The objective of this study was to identify miRNAs that are associated with egg qualities in rainbow trout using post-ovulatory aged eggs.

Results: Egg samples from females on day 1, day 7, and day 14 post-ovulation (D1PO, D7PO and D14PO), which had the fertilization rates of 91.8%, 73.4% and less than 50%, respectively, were collected and small RNAs isolated from these samples were subjected to deep sequencing using the Illumina platform. The massive sequencing produced 27,342,477, 26,910,438 and 29,185,371 reads from the libraries of D1PO, D7PO and D14PO eggs, respectively. A three-way comparison of the miRNAs indicated that the egg samples shared 392 known and 236 novel miRNAs, and a total of 414, 481, and 470 known and 243, 298, and 296 novel miRNAs were identified from D1PO, D7PO and D14PO eggs, respectively. Four known miRNAs (omy-miR-193b-3p, omy-miR-203c-3p, omy-miR-499-5p and omy-miR-7550-3p) and two novel miRNAs (omy-miR-nov-95-5p and omy-miR-nov-112-5p) showed significantly higher expression in D1PO eggs relative to D14PO eggs as revealed by both deep sequencing and real time quantitative PCR analysis. GO analysis of the predicted target genes of these differentially expressed miRNAs revealed significantly enriched GO terms that are related to stress response, cell death, DNA damage, ATP generation, signal transduction and transcription regulation.

Conclusions: Results indicate that post-ovulatory ageing affects miRNA expression profiles in rainbow trout eggs, which can in turn impact egg quality. Further characterization of the differentially expressed miRNAs and their target genes may provide valuable information on the role of these miRNAs in controlling egg quality, and ultimately lead to the development of biomarkers for prediction of egg quality in rainbow trout.

Source Citation

Ma, H., Weber, G.M., Hostuttler, M.A. et al. MicroRNA expression profiles from eggs of different qualities associated with post-ovulatory ageing in rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss). BMC Genomics 16, 201 (2015).


© 2015 Ma et al.; licensee BioMed Central. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly credited. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver ( applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.



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