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The role of microRNA expression and genetic variation in microRNA-binding sites of target genes on growth and muscle quality traits is poorly characterized. We used RNA-Seq approach to investigate their importance on 5 growth and muscle quality traits: whole body weight (WBW), muscle yield, muscle crude-fat content, muscle shear force and whiteness. Phenotypic data were collected from 471 fish, representing 98 families (~5 fish/family) from a growth-selected line. Muscle microRNAs and mRNAs were sequenced from 22 families showing divergent phenotypes. Ninety microRNAs showed differential expression between families with divergent phenotypes, and their expression was strongly associated with variation in phenotypes. A total of 204 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) present in 3' UTR of target genes either destroyed or created novel illegitimate microRNA target sites; of them, 78 SNPs explained significant variation in the aforementioned 5 muscle traits. Majority of the phenotype-associated SNPs were present in microRNA-binding sites of genes involved in energy metabolism and muscle structure. These findings suggest that variation in microRNA expression and/or sequence variation in microRNA binding sites in target genes play an important role in mediating differences in fish growth and muscle quality phenotypes.

Source Citation

Paneru, Bam Dev., Al-Tobasei, Rafet., Kenney, Brett., Leeds, Timothy D., & Salem, Mohamed.(2017). Rna-Seq Reveals Microrna Expression Signature And Genetic Polymorphism Associated With Growth And Muscle Quality Traits In Rainbow Trout. Scientific Reports, 7(1).



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