, Volume 7, Issue 10, pp 806-816

Computational prediction of microRNA genes in silkworm genome

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Abstract

MicroRNAs (miRNAs) constitute a novel, extensive class of small RNAs (∼21 nucleotides), and play important gene-regulation roles during growth and development in various organisms. Here we conducted a homology search to identify homologs of previously validated miRNAs from silkworm genome. We identified 24 potential miRNA genes, and gave each of them a name according to the common criteria. Interestingly, we found that a great number of newly identified miRNAs were conserved in silkworm and Drosophila, and family alignment revealed that miRNA families might possess single nucleotide polymorphisms. miRNA gene clusters and possible functions of complement miRNA pairs are discussed.

Project supported by the Program for New Century Excellent Talents in University (No. NCET-04-0531) and the National Basic Research Program (973) of China (No. 2005CB12100)