Open Access Highly Accessed Research article

Identification of neglected cestode Taenia multiceps microRNAs by illumina sequencing and bioinformatic analysis

Xuhang Wu1, Yan Fu1, Deying Yang1, Yue Xie1, Runhui Zhang1, Wanpeng Zheng1, Huaming Nie1, Ning Yan1, Ning Wang1, Jiahai Wang1, Xiaobin Gu1, Shuxian Wang1, Xuerong Peng2 and Guangyou Yang1*

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Parasitology, College of Veterinary Medicine, Sichuan Agricultural University, Ya’an 625014, China

2 Department of Chemistry, College of Life and Basic Science, Sichuan Agricultural University, Ya’an 625014, China

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BMC Veterinary Research 2013, 9:162  doi:10.1186/1746-6148-9-162

Published: 13 August 2013



Worldwide, but especially in developing countries, coenurosis of sheep and other livestock is caused by Taenia multiceps larvae, and zoonotic infections occur in humans. Infections frequently lead to host death, resulting in huge socioeconomic losses. MicroRNAs (miRNAs) have important roles in the post-transcriptional regulation of a large number of animal genes by imperfectly binding target mRNAs. To date, there have been no reports of miRNAs in T. multiceps.


In this study, we obtained 12.8 million high quality raw reads from adult T. multiceps small RNA library using Illumina sequencing technology. A total of 796 conserved miRNA families (containing 1,006 miRNAs) from 170,888 unique miRNAs were characterized using miRBase (Release 17.0). Here, we selected three conserved miRNA/miRNA* (antisense strand) duplexes at random and amplified their corresponding precursors using a PCR-based method. Furthermore, 20 candidate novel miRNA precursors were verified by genomic PCR. Among these, six corresponding T. multiceps miRNAs are considered specific for Taeniidae because no homologs were found in other species annotated in miRBase. In addition, 181,077 target sites within T. multiceps transcriptome were predicted for 20 candidate newly miRNAs.


Our large-scale investigation of miRNAs in adult T. multiceps provides a substantial platform for improving our understanding of the molecular regulation of T. multiceps and other cestodes development.

MicroRNA; Taenia multiceps; Unigene; Illumina sequencing; Candidate novel miRNA