In their study, three independent small RNA libraries were constructed from the liver, spleen and muscle of A. davidianus. The libraries were subjected to high-throughput sequencing by using the Illumina deep sequencing. As a result, a total of 12,831,239, 13,592,195 and 9,887,531 raw reads representing 2,240,771, 1,363,266 and 1,964,252 clean reads per library were obtained separately. Through bioinformatics analysis, they identified a total of 553 known miRNAs and 44 putative novel miRNAs in our small RNA dataset from liver, spleen and muscle tissues. Five known miRNAs (gga-miR-10a-5p, pma-miR-29d-5p, aca-miR-338-3p, hsa-miR-455-3p and ssa-miR-2184-5p_R-1) and three novel miRNAs (PC-5p-891_1763, PC-5p-32538_50 and PC-3p-33645_48) showed different expression in eight different tissues as revealed by stem-loop qPCR analysis.
This study characterized the miRNA of A. davidianus for the first time, which provides an opportunity for further understanding of miRNA regulation function in a species which has been ranked as living fossils.