Precise mapping and dynamics of tRNA-derived fragments (tRFs) in the development of Triops cancriformis (tadpole shrimp)

Yuka Hirose, Kahori T. Ikeda, Emiko Noro, Kiriko Hiraoka, Masaru Tomita, Akio Kanai

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Citations (Scopus)


Background: In a deep sequencing analysis of small RNAs prepared from a living fossil, the tadpole shrimp Triops cancriformis, a 32-nt small RNA was specifically detected in the adult stage. A nucleotide sequence comparison between the 32-nt small RNA and predicted tRNA sequences in the draft nuclear genomic DNA showed that the small RNA was derived from tRNAGly(GCC). To determine the overall features of the tRNA-derived fragments (tRFs) of T. cancriformis, the small RNA sequences in each of the six developmental stages (egg, 1st - 4th instar larvae, and adult) were compared with the mitochondrial and nuclear tRNA sequences. Results: We found that the tRFs were derived from mitochondrial and nuclear tRNAs corresponding to 16 and 39 anticodons, respectively. The total read number of nuclear tRFs was approximately 400 times larger than the number of mitochondrial tRFs. Interestingly, the main regions in each parental tRNA from which these tRFs were derived differed, depending on the parental anticodon. Mitochondrial tRFSer(GCU)s were abundantly produced from the 5' half regions of the parental tRNA, whereas mitochondrial tRFVal(UAC)s were mainly produced from the 3' end regions. Highly abundant nuclear tRFs, tRFGly(GCC)s, tRFGly(CCC)s, tRFGlu(CUC)s, and tRFLys(CUU)s were derived from the 5' half regions of the parental tRNAs. Further analysis of the tRF read counts in the individual developmental stages suggested that the expression of mitochondrial and nuclear tRFs differed during the six stages. Based on these data, we precisely summarized the positions of the tRFs in their parental tRNAs and their expression changes during development. Conclusions: Our results reveal the entire dynamics of the tRFs from both the nuclear and mitochondrial genomes of T. cancriformis and indicate that the majority of tRFs in the cell are derived from nuclear tRNAs. This study provides the first examples of developmentally expressed mitochondrial tRFs.

Original languageEnglish
Article number83
JournalBMC Genetics
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2015 Jul 14


  • Deep sequencing analysis
  • Development
  • Tadpole shrimp
  • Transfer RNA
  • tRNA-derived fragment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics
  • Genetics(clinical)


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