Identification of Novel and Conserved microRNAs in Homalodisca vitripennis, the Glassy-Winged Sharpshooter by Expression Profiling
The glassy-winged sharpshooter (GWSS) Homalodisca vitripennis (Hemiptera: Cicadellidae), is a xylem-feeding leafhopper and an important vector of the bacterium Xylella fastidiosa; the causal agent of Pierce's disease of grapevines. MicroRNAs are a class of small RNAs that play an important role in the functional development of various organisms including insects. In H. vitripennis, we identified microRNAs using high-throughput deep sequencing of adults followed by computational and manual annotation. A total of 14 novel microRNAs that are not found in the miRBase were identified from adult H. vitripennis. Conserved microRNAs were also found in our datasets. By comparison to our previously determined transcriptome sequence of H. vitripennis, we identified the potential targets of the microRNAs in the transcriptome. This microRNA profile information not only provides a more nuanced understanding of the biological and physiological mechanisms that govern gene expression in H. vitripennis, but may also lead to the identification of novel mechanisms for biorationally designed management strategies through the use of microRNAs.