Document Type


Publication Date



Davis College of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Design


Division of Animal and Nutritional Sciences


MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are a class of endogenous small non-coding RNA molecules that regulate post-transcriptional expression of target genes and play important roles in animal development. The objectives of this study were to characterize the egg miRNA transcriptome and identify novel egg-predominant miRNAs in rainbow trout. Small RNAs isolated from mature unfertilized rainbow trout eggs were subjected to deep sequencing using an Illumina Genome Analyzer. The massive sequencing produced 24,621,741 quality reads, among which, 266 known miRNAs were identified and 230 putatively novel miRNAs were predicted. The most abundantly known miRNAs are let-7 and miR-21, accounting for 24.06% and 18.71% of the known miRNAs, respectively. Other known miRNAs which are abundantly present in eggs include miR-24, miR-202, miR-148, miR-30, miR-10, miR-146, miR-25, and miR-143. Real time PCR analysis using cDNAs derived from 10 tissues validated 87 out of 90 selected putative miRNAs and identified three novel miRNAs predominantly expressed in rainbow trout eggs. Each of these novel egg-predominant miRNAs is predicted to target a significant number of genes, most of which are significantly down-regulated in naturally ovulated rainbow trout eggs based on analysis of publicly available microarray data sets. Quantitative real time PCR analysis also demonstrated low expression of a selected number of target genes in eggs relative to liver and muscle tissues. This study represents the first complete survey of miRNAs in fish eggs and provides a starting point for future studies aimed at understanding the roles of miRNAs in controlling egg quality and early embryogenesis in rainbow trout.

Source Citation

Ma H, Hostuttler M, Wei H, Rexroad CE III, Yao J (2012) Characterization of the Rainbow Trout Egg MicroRNA Transcriptome. PLoS ONE 7(6): e39649.


© 2012 Ma et al. 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 author and source are credited.



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.