Biodiv Sci ›› 2009, Vol. 17 ›› Issue (3): 248-256.DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1003.2009.08316

• Special Issue • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Single nucleotide polymorphisms in chicken genomic pre-microRNA

Liying Geng1, Chuansheng Zhang2,3,*(), Lixin Du3   

  1. 1 Department of Life Science, Hebei Normal University of Science & Technology, Changli, Hebei 066600
    2 Department of Animal Science, Hebei Normal University of Science & Technology, Changli, Hebei 066600
    3 National Center for Molecular and Breeding of Animal, Institute of Animal Science, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Beijing 100193
  • Received:2008-12-04 Accepted:2009-02-18 Online:2009-05-20 Published:2009-05-20
  • Contact: Chuansheng Zhang


The level of SNPs in chicken pre-microRNAs was studied to gain insight into the potential functional significance of the SNPs located in different domains of pre-microRNA. We conducted a bioinformatic survey of chicken SNPs in 471 pre-microRNAs, together with their flanking regions. The SNP density in pre-microRNA regions was significantly lower in the flanking regions (P<0.01=. The SNPs in the Seed regions showed greater effects on the stability of the pre-microRNA secondary structure than those SNPs in other regions did. The SNPs in the mature microRNA regions also appeared to influence target selection of the microRNA. The pre-microRNA regions may have endured more selective pressure than their flanking regions in the course of molecular evolution. It is possible that SNPs located in mature regions of microRNA are capable of modifying a number of biological processes by influencing the processing and target selection of microRNAs. This may contribute to the phenotypic variability observed among chickens. The findings reported here may provide reference information regarding the evolutionary patterns of microRNAs in chicken and may also aid in the identification of functional SNPs in microRNAs.

Key words: microRNA, bioinformatics, single nucleotide polymorphism