Photoperiod-Dependent Expression of MicroRNA in Drosophila

Mirko Pegoraro, Bettina Fishman, Valeria Zonato, Georgios Zouganelis, Amanda Francis, Charalambos P. Kyriacou, Eran Tauber

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Like many other insects in temperate regions, Drosophila melanogaster exploits the photoperiod shortening that occurs during the autumn as an important cue to trigger a seasonal response. Flies survive the winter by entering a state of reproductive arrest (diapause), which drives the relo-cation of resources from reproduction to survival. Here, we profiled the expression of microRNA (miRNA) in long and short photoperiods and identified seven differentially expressed miRNAs (dme-mir-2b, dme-mir-11, dme-mir-34, dme-mir-274, dme-mir-184, dme-mir-184*, and dme-mir-285). Mi-sexpression of dme-mir-2b, dme-mir-184, and dme-mir-274 in pigment-dispersing, factor-expressing neurons largely disrupted the normal photoperiodic response, suggesting that these miRNAs play functional roles in photoperiodic timing. We also analyzed the targets of photoperiodic miRNA by both computational predication and by Argonaute-1-mediated immunoprecipitation of long-and short-day RNA samples. Together with global transcriptome profiling, our results expand existing data on other Drosophila species, identifying genes and pathways that are differentially regulated in different photoperiods and reproductive status. Our data suggest that post-transcriptional regulation by miRNA is an important facet of photoperiodic timing.

Original languageEnglish
Article number4935
JournalInternational Journal of Molecular Sciences
Issue number9
StatePublished - 29 Apr 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.


  • Drosophila
  • RNA immunoprecipitationseasonal timing
  • diapause
  • microRNA
  • photoperiodism

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Spectroscopy
  • Catalysis
  • Inorganic Chemistry
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry


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