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Computational Identification of MicroRNAs and their Targets in two Species of Evergreen Spruce Tree (Picea)

Authors: Muhammad Y.K. Barozai, Ifthikhar A. Baloch, M. Din


MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are small, non-coding and regulatory RNAs about 20 to 24 nucleotides long. Their conserved nature among the various organisms makes them a good source of new miRNAs discovery by comparative genomics approach. The study resulted in 21 miRNAs of 20 pre-miRNAs belonging to 16 families (miR156, 157, 158, 164, 165, 168, 169, 172, 319, 390, 393, 394, 395, 400, 472 and 861) in evergreen spruce tree (Picea). The miRNA families; miR 157, 158, 164, 165, 168, 169, 319, 390, 393, 394, 400, 472 and 861 are reported for the first time in the Picea. All 20 miRNA precursors form stable minimum free energy stem-loop structure as their orthologues form in Arabidopsis and the mature miRNA reside in the stem portion of the stem loop structure. Sixteen (16) miRNAs are from Picea glauca and five (5) belong to Picea sitchensis. Their targets consist of transcription factors, growth related, stressed related and hypothetical proteins.

Keywords: BLAST, Comparative Genomics, Micro-RNAs, Spruce

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