A time course analysis through diapause reveals dynamic temporal patterns of microRNAs associated with endocrine regulation in the butterfly Pieris napi.

Roberts KT, Steward RA, Süess P, Lehmann P, Wheat CW

Mol. Ecol. - (-) e17348 [2024-04-10; online 2024-04-10]

Organisms inhabiting highly seasonal environments must cope with a wide range of environmentally induced challenges. Many seasonal challenges require extensive physiological modification to survive. In winter, to survive extreme cold and limited resources, insects commonly enter diapause, which is an endogenously derived dormant state associated with minimized cellular processes and low energetic expenditure. Due to the high degree of complexity involved in diapause, substantial cellular regulation is required, of which our understanding primarily derives from the transcriptome via messenger RNA expression dynamics. Here we aim to advance our understanding of diapause by investigating microRNA (miRNA) expression in diapausing and direct developing pupae of the butterfly Pieris napi. We identified coordinated patterns of miRNA expression throughout diapause in both head and abdomen tissues of pupae, and via miRNA target identification, found several expression patterns to be enriched for relevant diapause-related physiological processes. We also identified two candidate miRNAs, miR-14-5p and miR-2a-3p, that are likely involved in diapause progression through their activity in the ecdysone pathway, a critical regulator of diapause termination. miR-14-5p targets phantom, a gene in the ecdysone synthesis pathway, and is upregulated early in diapause. miR-2a-3p has been found to be expressed in response to ecdysone, and is upregulated during diapause termination. Together, the expression patterns of these two miRNAs match our current understanding of the timing of hormonal regulation of diapause in P. napi and provide interesting candidates to further explore the mechanistic role of microRNAs in diapause regulation.

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NGI Stockholm (Genomics Production) [Service]

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PubMed 38597329

DOI 10.1111/mec.17348

Crossref 10.1111/mec.17348

Publications 9.5.0