Comparative Transcriptomic Analysis of the Pituitary Gland between Cattle Breeds Differing in Growth: Yunling Cattle and Leiqiong Cattle.
ABSTRACT: The hypothalamic-pituitary-thyroid (HPT) axis hormones regulate the growth and development of ruminants, and the pituitary gland plays a decisive role in this process. In order to identify pivotal genes in the pituitary gland that could affect the growth of cattle by regulating the secretion of hormones, we detected the content of six HPT hormones related to growth in the plasma of two cattle breeds (Yunling and Leiqiong cattle, both also known as the zebu cattle) with great differences in growth and compared the transcriptome data of their pituitary glands. Our study found that the contents of GH, IGF, TSH, thyroxine, triiodothyronine, and insulin were significantly different between the two breeds, which was the main cause of the difference in growth; 175 genes were identified as differentially expressed genes (DEGs). Functional association analyses revealed that DEGs were mainly involved in the process of transcription and signal transduction. Combining the enrichment analysis and protein interaction analysis, eight DEGs were predicted to control the growth of cattle by affecting the expression of growth-related hormones in the pituitary gland. In summary, our results suggested that SLC38A1, SLC38A3, DGKH, GNB4, GNAQ, ESR1, NPY, and GAL are candidates in the pituitary gland for regulating the growth of Yunling and Leiqiong cattle by regulating the secretion of growth-related hormones. This study may help researchers further understand the growth mechanisms and improve the artificial selection of zebu cattle.
Project description:The beef aging process is essential for compliance with certain major requisites, such as sensory characteristics for cooking and meat processing. Meat quality analysis of Yunling cattle, a new hybrid beef cattle bred by Chinese researchers, during the aging process, represents a major research gap. To explore Yunling beef initially, indicators associated with meat quality during the aging process of Yunling, Simmental, and Wenshan cattle were measured. In addition, some important economic traits were detected in the three breeds, including growth performance and carcass characteristics. The results showed that the growth performance, carcass traits, pH, and water holding capacity of Yunling and Simmental cattle were basically the same and better, respectively, than those of Wenshan cattle. The proportions of individual fatty acids in Yunling beef were healthier than in the other two breeds. Aging time did not affect the fatty acid profiles of the beef (p > 0.05). The contents of certain fatty acids in the three beef types displayed some differences in terms of days of aging (p < 0.05). The tenderness and meat color were better in the Yunling beef as the aging time increased, indicating that Yunling beef aged for 7 days was more suitable for cooking, exhibiting better sensory characteristics. Thus, a 7-day short-term aging process is very effective in improving the quality of Yunling beef. Our study attempted to fill a gap in the Yunling beef quality analysis during aging, providing further evidence for Yunling beef improvement.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Though intensive genetic selection has led to extraordinary advances in growth rate and feed efficiency in production of meat-type chickens, endocrine processes controlling these traits are still poorly understood. The anterior pituitary gland is a central component of the neuroendocrine system and plays a key role in regulating important physiological processes that directly impact broiler production efficiency, though how differences in pituitary gland function contribute to various growth and body composition phenotypes is not fully understood. RESULTS:Global anterior pituitary gene expression was evaluated on post-hatch weeks 1, 3, 5, and 7 in male broiler chickens selected for high (HG) or low (LG) growth. Differentially expressed genes (DEGs) were analyzed with gene ontology categorization, self-organizing maps, gene interaction network determination, and upstream regulator identification to uncover novel pituitary genes and pathways contributing to differences in growth and body composition. A total of 263 genes were differentially expressed between HG and LG anterior pituitary glands (P???0.05 for genetic line-by-age interaction or main effect of line; ?1.6-fold difference between lines), including genes encoding four anterior pituitary hormones. Genes involved in signal transduction, transcriptional regulation, and vesicle-mediated transport were differentially expressed and are predicted to influence expression and secretion of pituitary hormones. DEGs involved in immune regulation provide evidence that inflammation and response to cellular stressors may compromise pituitary function in LG birds, affecting their ability to adequately produce pituitary hormones. Many DEGs were also predicted to function in processes that regulate organ morphology and angiogenesis, suggesting pituitary gland structure differs between the divergently selected lines. CONCLUSIONS:The large number of DEGs within the anterior pituitary gland of birds selected for high or low body weight highlights the importance of this gland in regulating economically important traits such as growth and body composition in broiler chickens. Intracellular signaling, transcriptional regulation, and membrane trafficking are important cellular processes contributing to proper hormone production and secretion. The data also suggest that pituitary function is intimately tied to structure, and organization of the gland could influence hypothalamic and systemic metabolic inputs and delivery of hormones regulating growth and metabolism into peripheral circulation.
Project description:Yunling cattle are a composite beef cattle breed, combining Brahman (1/2), Murray Grey (1/4) and Local Yunnan cattle (1/4), that was developed in Yunnan, China in the 1980s. Understanding the genetic information of Yunling cattle is of great significance to the development of reasonable breeding strategies for this breed. In the present study, we assessed the current genetic status of Yunling cattle in Yunnan Province (China) by analyzing the variability of the whole mitochondrial genome of 129 individuals. Altogether, 129 sequences displayed 47 different haplotypes. The haplotype diversity and the average number of nucleotide differences were 0.964 and 128.074, respectively. Phylogenetic analyses classified Yunling cattle into seven haplogroups: T1, T2, T3, T4, T6, I1 and I2. Haplogroup I1 was found to be predominant (41.86%), followed by T3 (28.68%). Furthermore, we also identified a novel haplogroup, T6, and defined the sub-haplogroup I1a in Yunling cattle. According to the formation process of Yunling cattle (local Yunnan cattle as the maternal line), the high genetic diversities in the mitochondria of Yunling cattle could be due to the complex maternal origin of local Yunnan cattle. Further studies about local Yunnan breeds are necessary to determine the exact source of haplogroup T6 in Yunling cattle. Our results will be useful for the evaluation and effective management of Yunling cattle.
Project description:Copy number variation is a part of genomic structural variation and has caused widespread concern. According to the results of high-throughput screening of the MLLT10 gene, we found that the copy number variation region of the MLLT10 gene was correlated with bovine growth traits. We aimed to detect the MLLT10 gene copy number variation and provide materials for the Chinese yellow cattle breed. In this study, the SPSS software was used to analyze the correlation among the copy number type of six different cattle breeds (i.e., Qinchuan, Xianan, Jiaxian, Yanbian, Sinan, Yunling) and the corresponding growth traits. The results showed the following: In Qinchuan cattle, the copy number duplication type was greater than the deletion and normal types; in Xianan cattle, the copy number duplication and normal types were less as compared with the deletion type; and in Yunling cattle, the frequency of the duplication type was dominant among the three types of copy number variants. The correlation analysis result showed that there is a significant correlation between the copy number variation (CNV) of the MLLT10 gene and the growth traits of three cattle breeds. Furthermore, correlation analysis showed that MLLT10 CNV had positive effects on growth traits such as hip width, rump length, hucklebone width, and cannon bone circumference (p < 0.05). This study provides a basis for the molecular-assisted marker breeding of cattle and contributes to the breeding of cattle.
Project description:OBJECTIVE:Yunnan is not only a frontier zone that connects China with South and Southeast Asia, but also represents an admixture zone between taurine (Bos taurus) and zebu (Bos indicus) cattle. The purpose of this study is to understand the level of genomic diversity and the extent of admixture in each Yunnan native cattle breed. METHODS:All 120 individuals were genotyped using Illumina BovineHD BeadChip (777,962 single nucleotide polymorphisms [SNPs]). Quality control and genomic diversity indexes were calculated using PLINK software. The principal component analysis (PCA) was assessed using SMARTPCA program implemented in EIGENSOFT software. The ADMIXTURE software was used to reveal admixture patterns among breeds. RESULTS:A total of 604,630 SNPs was obtained after quality control procedures. Among six breeds, the highest level of mean heterozygosity was found in Zhaotong cattle from Northeastern Yunnan, whereas the lowest level of heterozygosity was detected in Dehong humped cattle from Western Yunnan. The PCA based on a pruned dataset of 233,788 SNPs clearly separated Dehong humped cattle (supposed to be a pure zebu breed) from other five breeds. The admixture analysis further revealed two clusters (K = 2 with the lowest cross validation error), corresponding to taurine and zebu cattle lineages. All six breeds except for Dehong humped cattle showed different degrees of admixture between taurine and zebu cattle. As expected, Dehong humped cattle showed no signature of taurine cattle influence. CONCLUSION:Overall, considerable genomic diversity was found in six Yunnan native cattle breeds except for Dehong humped cattle from Western Yunnan. Dehong humped cattle is a pure zebu breed, while other five breeds had admixed origins with different extents of admixture between taurine and zebu cattle. Such admixture by crossbreeding between zebu and taurine cattle facilitated the spread of zebu cattle from tropical and subtropical regions to other highland regions in Yunnan.
Project description:BACKGROUND: Descendants from the extinct aurochs (Bos primigenius), taurine (Bos taurus) and zebu cattle (Bos indicus) were domesticated 10,000 years ago in Southwestern and Southern Asia, respectively, and colonized the world undergoing complex events of admixture and selection. Molecular data, in particular genome-wide single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) markers, can complement historic and archaeological records to elucidate these past events. However, SNP ascertainment in cattle has been optimized for taurine breeds, imposing limitations to the study of diversity in zebu cattle. As amplified fragment length polymorphism (AFLP) markers are discovered and genotyped as the samples are assayed, this type of marker is free of ascertainment bias. In order to obtain unbiased assessments of genetic differentiation and structure in taurine and zebu cattle, we analyzed a dataset of 135 AFLP markers in 1,593 samples from 13 zebu and 58 taurine breeds, representing nine continental areas. RESULTS: We found a geographical pattern of expected heterozygosity in European taurine breeds decreasing with the distance from the domestication centre, arguing against a large-scale introgression from European or African aurochs. Zebu cattle were found to be at least as diverse as taurine cattle. Western African zebu cattle were found to have diverged more from Indian zebu than South American zebu. Model-based clustering and ancestry informative markers analyses suggested that this is due to taurine introgression. Although a large part of South American zebu cattle also descend from taurine cows, we did not detect significant levels of taurine ancestry in these breeds, probably because of systematic backcrossing with zebu bulls. Furthermore, limited zebu introgression was found in Podolian taurine breeds in Italy. CONCLUSIONS: The assessment of cattle diversity reported here contributes an unbiased global view to genetic differentiation and structure of taurine and zebu cattle populations, which is essential for an effective conservation of the bovine genetic resources.
Project description:BACKGROUND: Two bovine species contribute to the Indonesian livestock, zebu (Bos indicus) and banteng (Bos javanicus), respectively. Although male hybrid offspring of these species is not fertile, Indonesian cattle breeds are supposed to be of mixed species origin. However, this has not been documented and is so far only supported by preliminary molecular analysis. METHODS AND FINDINGS: Analysis of mitochondrial, Y-chromosomal and microsatellite DNA showed a banteng introgression of 10-16% in Indonesian zebu breeds. East-Javanese Madura and Galekan cattle have higher levels of autosomal banteng introgression (20-30%) and combine a zebu paternal lineage with a predominant (Madura) or even complete (Galekan) maternal banteng origin. Two Madura bulls carried taurine Y-chromosomal haplotypes, presumably of French Limousin origin. In contrast, we did not find evidence for zebu introgression in five populations of the Bali cattle, a domestic form of the banteng. CONCLUSIONS: Because of their unique species composition Indonesian cattle represent a valuable genetic resource, which potentially may also be exploited in other tropical regions.
Project description:Pleomorphic adenoma gene 1 (PLAG1) belongs to the PLAG family of zinc finger transcription factors. In cattle, a 19-bp insertion/deletion (indel) was identified in intron 1 of the PLAG1 gene (GenBank Accession No. AC_000171.1). Researches showed that the indel is polymorphic in Chinese cattle breeds such as Qinchuan cattle, Pinan cattle, Xianan cattle, and Jiaxian red cattle, and correlation analysis showed that the polymorphism is related to the height of these cattle breeds. Chinese cattle breeds show a difference in height related to geographical distribution. We investigated the distribution of the 19-bp indel polymorphism in 37 cattle breeds, including 1354 individuals. The results showed that there were three genotypes and two alleles (W, 366 bp; D, 347 bp). From northern cattle to southern cattle, the frequency of W allele gradually decreased, while the frequency of D allele showed an opposite trend, which was consistent with the distribution of cattle breeds of different height in China. Therefore, the polymorphism of this indel may be related to the regional distribution of cattle breeds in China. In addition, we chose Yunling cattle with a mixed genetic background to study the genetic effects of the 19-bp indel on body size traits. Statistical analysis showed that PLAG1 was significantly associated with the body height, cross height, and chest circumference of Yunling cattle (p < 0.05). This study provides new evidence that the 19-bp indel of the PLAG1 gene is a highly effective trait marker that can be used as a candidate molecular marker for cattle breeding.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Bovine leukocyte antigens (BoLAs) are used extensively as markers of disease and immunological traits in cattle. However, until now, characterization of BoLA gene polymorphisms in Zebu breeds using high resolution typing methods has been poor. Here, we used a polymerase chain reaction sequence-based typing (PCR-SBT) method to sequence exon 2 of the BoLA class II DRB3 gene from 421 cattle (116 Bolivian Nellore, 110 Bolivian Gir, and 195 Peruvian Nellore-Brahman). Data from 1416 Taurine and Zebu samples were also included in the analysis. RESULTS:We identified 46 previously reported alleles and no novel variants. Of note, 1/3 of the alleles were detected only in Zebu cattle. Comparison of the degree of genetic variability at the population and sequence levels with genetic distance in the three above mentioned breeds and nine previously reported breeds revealed that Zebu breeds had a gene diversity score higher than 0.86, a nucleotide diversity score higher than 0.06, and a mean number of pairwise differences greater than 16, being similar to those estimated for other cattle breeds. A neutrality test revealed that only Nellore-Brahman cattle showed the even gene frequency distribution expected under a balanced selection scenario. The FST index and the exact G test showed significant differences across all cattle populations (FST =?0.057; p <? 0.001). Neighbor-joining trees and principal component analysis identified two major clusters: one comprising mainly European Taurine breeds and a second comprising Zebu breeds. This is consistent with the historical and geographical origin of these breeds. Some of these differences may be explained by variation of amino acid motifs at antigen-binding sites. CONCLUSIONS:The results presented herein show that the historical divergence between Taurine and Zebu cattle breeds is a result of origin, selection, and adaptation events, which would explain the observed differences in BoLA-DRB3 gene diversity between the two major bovine types. This allelic information will be important for investigating the relationship between the major histocompatibility complex and disease, and contribute to an ongoing effort to catalog bovine MHC allele frequencies according to breed and location.
Project description:All tropically adapted humped cattle (Bos indicus or "zebu"), descend from a domestication process that took place >8,000 years ago in South Asia. Here we present an intercontinental survey of Y-chromosome diversity and a comprehensive reconstruction of male-lineage zebu cattle history and diversity patterns. Phylogenetic analysis revealed that all the zebu Y-chromosome haplotypes in our dataset group within three different lineages: Y3A, the most predominant and cosmopolitan lineage; Y3B, only observed in West Africa; and Y3C, predominant in South and Northeast India. The divergence times estimated for these three Zebu-specific lineages predate domestication. Coalescent demographic models support either de novo domestication of genetically divergent paternal lineages or more complex process including gene flow between wild and domestic animals. Our data suggest export of varied zebu lineages from domestication centres through time. The almost exclusive presence of Y3A haplotypes in East Africa is consistent with recent cattle restocking in this area. The cryptic presence of Y3B haplotypes in West Africa, found nowhere else, suggests that these haplotypes might represent the oldest zebu lineage introduced to Africa ca. 3,000 B.P. and subsequently replaced in most of the world. The informative ability of Interspersed Multilocus Microsatellites and Y-specific microsatellites to identify genetic structuring in cattle populations is confirmed.