MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are small non-coding RNAs that act in the post transcriptional modulation of the genetic expression. In animals, the incomplete base complementarity between the miRNA and the target site of the messenger RNA inhibit their translation, thus making them key genes for expression control. The analysis of differentially expressed miRNAs can provide a better understanding of a variety of biological processes that occur over development stages of a species, as well its evolution of morphological and physiological characteristics. The family Calliphoridae consists in a group of holometobolous muscoid dipterans of medical and veterinary importance. Among the species of this family, the New World Screwworm fly, Cochliomyia hominivorax is one of the mainly livestock pest in the Neotropical region. At the larvae phase this species infest and feed on live tissues of warm-blooded vertebrates, resulting in severe livestock industry losses. Despite its medical and economic impact little is known about the genetic regulation associate with the feeding and breeding habits of this species. This project aims to evaluate the miRNAs expression profile during different development stages of C. hominivorax, through new generation sequencing of small-RNA transcriptomes of egg, larvae, pupa and adults development phases. The differentially expressed miRNAs will be used for target prediction in gene regulatory pathways associate with this species feed and breed. The results achieved here will contribute for a better understanding of parasitism habits of C. hominivorax, with perspectives for functional, comparative and evolutionary studies in Calliphoridae.
News published in Agência FAPESP Newsletter about the scholarship: