piRNA dynamics in divergent zebrafish strains reveal long-lasting maternal influence on zygotic piRNA profiles

L.J. Kaaij, S.W. Hoogstrate, E. Berezikov, R.F. Ketting

Onderzoeksoutput: Bijdrage aan wetenschappelijk tijdschrift/periodieke uitgaveArtikelWetenschappelijkpeer review

7 Citaten (Scopus)


Transposable elements (TEs) are mobile genetic elements that can have many deleterious effects on the fitness of their host. The germline-specific PIWI pathway guards the genome against TEs, deriving its specificity from sequence complementarity between PIWI-bound small RNAs (piRNAs) and the TEs. The piRNAs are derived from so-called piRNA clusters. Recent studies have demonstrated that the piRNA repertoire can be adjusted to accommodate recent TE invasions by capturing invading TEs in piRNA loci. Thus far, no information concerning piRNA divergence is available from vertebrates. We present piRNA analyses of two relatively divergent zebrafish strains. We find that significant differences in the piRNA populations have accumulated, most notably among active class I TEs. This divergence can be split into differences in piRNA abundance per element and differences in sense/antisense polarity ratios. In crosses between animals of the different strains, many of these differences are resolved in the progeny. However, some differences remain, often leaning to the maternally contributed piRNA population. These differences can be detected at least two generations later. Our data illustrate, for the first time, the fluidity of piRNA populations in vertebrates and how the established diversity is transmitted to future generations.
Originele taal-2Engels
Pagina's (van-tot)345-356
Nummer van het tijdschrift3
StatusGepubliceerd - 2013


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