Genes & Genomics

, Volume 39, Issue 10, pp 1047–1057 | Cite as

Systematic identification and characterization of miRNAs and piRNAs from porcine testes

  • Bo Weng
  • Maoliang Ran
  • Bin ChenEmail author
  • Maisheng Wu
  • Fuzhi Peng
  • Lianhua Dong
  • Changqing He
  • Shanwen Zhang
  • Zhaohui Li
Research Article


microRNAs (miRNAs) and PIWI-interacting RNAs (piRNAs) execute important regulatory roles in testis development and spermatogenesis, while previous studies mainly focus on the expression profiles in immature and mature porcine testes, which may cause a bottleneck for further understanding their complex physiological processes in porcine testes development and spermatogenesis. Thus, we presented the expression and characterization of miRNAs and piRNAs in DS (60-day-old), DN (90-day-old), DT (120-day-old) and DF (150-day-old) pig testes. In total, 12,834,628, 13,359,726, 12,851,249 and 12,938,601 clean reads were generated from these libraries, respectively. 293 mature and 36 novel miRNAs as well as 4923 piRNA clusters were identified from pig testes, and they showed an age-dependent manner. GO enrichment analysis of miRNA target genes and piRNA generated genes showed that they participated widely in regulating the pig spermatogenesis process. In addition, 12 differentially expressed miRNAs were randomly selected to validate using qRT-PCR. Our results provided novel comprehensive expression profiles of miRNAs and piRNAs in pig testes at different stages of sexual maturity, which will promote our knowledge of them in regulating the pig testes development and spermatogenesis process.


MiRNAs PiRNAs Expression profile Testes Pig RNA-seq 



This work was financially supported by China Agriculture Research System (CARS-36), Hunan Provincial Innovation Foundation for Postgraduate (CX2015B251) and Excellent Doctoral Dissertation Cultivating Fund of Hunan Agricultural University (YB2015001).

Author contributions

BW, MR and BC conceived and designed the experiments. BW, MR, BC, MW, FP, LD, CH, SZ, ZL performed the experiments. BW and MR analyzed the data and wrote the manuscript. All authors have read and approved the final manuscript. Authors would like to thank JY for critical reading of the manuscript.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

Bo Weng declares that he/she does not have conflict of interest. Maoliang Ran declares that he/she does not have conflict of interest. Bin Chen declares that he/she does not have conflict of interest. Maisheng Wu declares that he/she does not have conflict of interest. Fuzhi Peng declares that he/she does not have conflict of interest. Lianhua Dong declares that he/she does not have conflict of interest. Changqing He declares that he/she does not have conflict of interest. Shanwen Zhang declares that he/she does not have conflict of interest. Zhaohui Li declares that he/she does not have conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

Animals care was performed in accordance with the guidelines of the declaration of Helsinki. All experimental protocols were approved by the animal welfare committee of College of Animal Science and Technology, Hunan Agriculture University, Changsha city, Hunan province, P. R. China.

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Copyright information

© The Genetics Society of Korea and Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Bo Weng
    • 1
    • 3
  • Maoliang Ran
    • 1
    • 3
  • Bin Chen
    • 1
    • 3
    Email author
  • Maisheng Wu
    • 2
  • Fuzhi Peng
    • 1
    • 3
  • Lianhua Dong
    • 1
    • 3
  • Changqing He
    • 1
    • 3
  • Shanwen Zhang
    • 2
  • Zhaohui Li
    • 2
  1. 1.College of Animal Science and TechnologyHunan Agriculture UniversityChangshaChina
  2. 2.Xiangtan Bureau of Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Medicine and Aquatic ProductXiangtanChina
  3. 3.Hunan Provincial Key Laboratory for Genetic Improvement of Domestic AnimalChangshaChina

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