Project description:Our aims in this study were: 1) to identify the miRNAs of the bumble bees Bombus terrestris and B. impatiens; 2) to compare the total numbers of miRNAs between both bumble bee species and between them and the honey bee, Apis mellifera; and 3) to test whether the sequences and expression patterns of miRNAs were conserved between species. To investigate each of these aims we used miRNA-seq (deep sequencing of miRNA-enriched libraries) in B. terrestris, and bioinformatics prediction programs to identify miRNAs in both Bombus species. We identified 131 miRNAs in B. terrestris, and 114 in B. impatiens; of these, 17 were new miRNAs that had not previously been sequenced in any species. We found a striking level of difference in the miRNAs present between Bombus and A. mellifera, with 103 miRNAs in A. mellifera not being present in the genomes of the two bumble bees. miRNA profiles of Bombus terrestris at two developmental stages in larvae. This submission represents 'Bombus terrestris' component of study.