Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Abstract

Genome-wide identification of miRNAs and target regulatory network in the invasive ectoparasitic mite Varroa destructor.

Abstract

Varroa destructor is an ectoparasite mite that attacks bees leading to colony disorders worldwide. microRNAs (miRNAs) are key molecules used by eukaryotes to post-transcriptional control of gene expression. Nevertheless, still lack information about V. destructor miRNAs and its regulatory networks. Here, we used an integrative strategy to characterize the miRNAs in the V. destructor mite. We identified 310 precursors that give rise to 500 mature miRNAs, which 257 are likely mite-specific elements. miRNAs showed canonical length ranging between 18 and 25 nucleotides and 5' uracil preference. Top 10 elements concentrated over 80% of total miRNA expression, with bantam alone representing ~50%. We also detected non-templated bases in precursor-derived small RNAs, indicative of miRNA post-transcriptional regulatory mechanisms. Finally, we note that conserved miRNAs control similar processes in different organisms, suggesting a conservative role. Altogether, our findings contribute to the better understanding of the mite biology that can assist future studies on varroosis control.