Characterisation of sperm piRNAs and their correlation with semen quality traits in swine

M. Ablondi, M. Gòdia, J.E. Rodriguez-Gil, A. Sánchez, A. Clop*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)


Piwi-interacting RNAs (piRNAs) are a class of non-coding RNAs that are essential in the transcriptional silencing of transposable elements and warrant genome stability in the mammalian germline. In this study, we have identified piRNAs in porcine sperm using male germline and zygote datasets from human, mice, cow and pig, and evaluated the relation between their abundances and sperm quality traits. In our analysis, we identified 283 382 piRNAs, 1355 of which correlated with P ≤ 0.01 to at least one semen quality trait. Fifty-seven percent of the correlated piRNAs mapped less than 50 kb apart from any other piRNA in the pig genome. Furthermore, piRNA location was significantly enriched near long interspersed nuclear elements. Moreover, some of the significant piRNAs mapped within or close to genes relevant for fertility or spermatogenesis such as CSNK1G2 and PSMF1.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)114-120
Number of pages7
JournalAnimal Genetics
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • Piwi-interacting RNAs
  • repeat elements
  • RNA-seq
  • semen quality
  • sperm
  • swine


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