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piRNAclusterDB 2.0: update and expansion of the piRNA cluster database.

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Change log


Rosenkranz, David 
Zischler, Hans 


PIWI-interacting RNAs (piRNAs) and their partnering PIWI proteins defend the animal germline against transposable elements and play a crucial role in fertility. Numerous studies in the past have uncovered many additional functions of the piRNA pathway, including gene regulation, anti-viral defense, and somatic transposon repression. Further, comparative analyses across phylogenetic groups showed that the PIWI/piRNA system evolves rapidly and exhibits great evolutionary plasticity. However, the presence of so-called piRNA clusters as the major source of piRNAs is common to nearly all metazoan species. These genomic piRNA-producing loci are highly divergent across taxa and critically influence piRNA populations in different evolutionary lineages. We launched the initial version of the piRNA cluster database to facilitate research on regulation and evolution of piRNA-producing loci across tissues und species. In recent years the amount of small RNA sequencing data that was generated and the abundance of species that were studied has grown rapidly. To keep up with this recent progress, we have released a major update for the piRNA cluster database (, expanding it from 12 to a total of 51 species with hundreds of new datasets, and revised its overall structure to enable easy navigation through this large amount of data.



Animals, Argonaute Proteins, Cluster Analysis, DNA Transposable Elements, Databases, Genetic, Datasets as Topic, Evolution, Molecular, Genetic Loci, Genome, Humans, Internet, Phylogeny, RNA, Small Interfering, Software

Journal Title

Nucleic Acids Res

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Oxford University Press (OUP)


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