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MicroRNAs (miRNAs) comprise 1 to 3% of all vertebrate genes, but their in vivo functions and mechanisms of action remain largely unknown. Zebrafish miR-430 is expressed at the onset of zygotic transcription and regulates morphogenesis during early development. By using a microarray approach and in vivo target validation, we find that miR-430 directly regulates several hundred target messenger RNA molecules (mRNAs). Most targets are maternally expressed mRNAs that accumulate in the absence of miR-430. We also show that miR-430 accelerates the deadenylation of target mRNAs. These results suggest that miR-430 facilitates the deadenylation and clearance of maternal mRNAs during early embryogenesis.