Supplementary Material for: Sex-Biased miRNA Expression in Atlantic Halibut <b><i>(Hippoglossus hippoglossus)</i></b> Brain and Gonads

The role of miRNA in fish sexual development is not elucidated yet. We profiled miRNAs in gonads and brains of Atlantic halibut using SOLiD sequencing technology. We found tissue- and sexually dimorphic expression of several miRNAs, including miR-29a, miR-34, miR-143, miR-145, miR-202-3p, miR-451, and miR-2188. miR-9 and miR-202 were abundant in brain and gonads, respectively. In the next step, we selected some miRNAs showing differential expression patterns between sexes and performed RT-qPCR on 3 age groups: juveniles, 3-year-, and 5-year-olds. In brains, miR-451 was significantly down-regulated in juveniles compared to adults. let-7a, miR-143, and miR-202-3p were up-regulated in gonads of mature males compared to immature females at the same age. We investigated the effect of suppressing aromatase cytochrome P450 enzyme on miRNA expression at the onset of sex differentiation through masculinization with Fadrozole or 17-α-methyltestosterone. We found significant differences in miRNA expression between masculinized individuals and untreated controls. miR-202-3p was significantly down-regulated in female juveniles compared to male juveniles. The expression levels of let-7a and miR-451 were restored after termination of the masculinization treatment. Our data give a first insight into miRNA involvement in sexual development in teleosts.