Project description:Background:The forest musk deer, Moschus berezovskii, is one of seven musk deer (Moschus spp.) and is distributed in Southwest China. Akin to other musk deer, the forest musk deer has been traditionally and is currently hunted for its musk (i.e., global perfume industry). Considerable hunting pressure and habitat loss have caused significant population declines. Consequently, the Chinese government commenced captive breeding programs for musk harvesting in the 1950s. However, the prevalence of fatal diseases is considerably restricting population increases. Disease severity and extent are exacerbated by inbreeding and genetic diversity declines in captive musk deer populations. It is essential that knowledge of captive and wild forest musk deer populations' immune system and genome be gained in order to improve their physical and genetic health. We have thus sequenced the whole genome of the forest musk deer, completed the genomic assembly and annotation, and performed preliminary bioinformatic analyses. Findings:A total of 407 Gb raw reads from whole-genome sequencing were generated using the Illumina HiSeq 4000 platform. The final genome assembly is around 2.72 Gb, with a contig N50 length of 22.6 kb and a scaffold N50 length of 2.85 Mb. We identified 24,352 genes and found that 42.05% of the genome is composed of repetitive elements. We also detected 1,236 olfactory receptor genes. The genome-wide phylogenetic tree indicated that the forest musk deer was within the order Artiodactyla, and it appeared as the sister clade of four members of Bovidae. In total, 576 genes were under positive selection in the forest musk deer lineage. Conclusions:We provide the first genome sequence and gene annotation for the forest musk deer. The availability of these resources will be very useful for the conservation and captive breeding of this endangered and economically important species and for reconstructing the evolutionary history of the order Artiodactyla.
Project description:The Chinese forest musk deer (Moschus berezovskii) is an economically important species distributed throughout southwest China and northern Vietnam. Occurrence and development of disease are aggravated by inbreeding and genetic diversity declines in captive musk deer populations. Deep transcriptomics investigation may provide a promising way to improve genetic health of captive and wild FMD population. MicroRNAs (miRNAs), which regulate gene expression by targeting and suppressing of mRNAs, play an important role in physiology and organism development control. In this study, RNA-seq technology was adopted to characterize the miRNA transcriptome signature among six tissues (heart, liver, spleen, lung, kidney, and muscle) in Chinese forest musk deer at two years of age. Deep sequencing generated a total of 103,261,451 (~87.87%) good quality small RNA reads; of them 6,622,520 were unique across all six tissues. A total of 2890 miRNAs were identified, among them 1129 were found to be expressed in all tissues. Moreover, coexpression of 20 miRNAs (>2000RPM) in all six tissues and top five highly expressed miRNAs in each tissue implied the crucial and particular function of them in FMD physiological processes. Our findings of forest musk deer miRNAs supplement the database of transcriptome information for this species and conduce to our understanding of forest musk deer biology.
Project description:Forest musk deer (Moschus berezovskii; FMD) are both economically valuable and highly endangered. A problem for FMD captive breeding programs has been the susceptibility of FMD to abscesses. To investigate the mechanisms of abscess development in FMD, the blood transcriptomes of three purulent and three healthy individuals were generated. A total of ~39.68 Gb bases were generated using Illumina HiSeq 4000 sequencing technology and 77,752 unigenes were identified after assembling. All the unigenes were annotated, with 63,531 (81.71%) mapping to at least one database. Based on these functional annotations, 45,798 coding sequences (CDS) were detected, along with 12,697 simple sequence repeats (SSRs) and 65,536 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs). A total of 113 unigenes were found to be differentially expressed between healthy and purulent individuals. Functional annotation indicated that most of these differentially expressed genes were involved in the regulation of immune system processes, particularly those associated with parasitic and bacterial infection pathways.
Project description:The forest musk deer (Moschus berezovskii) is a high elevation species distributed across western China and northern Vietnam. Once abundant, habitat loss and poaching has led to a dramatic decrease in population numbers prompting the IUCN to list the species as endangered. Here, we characterized the genetic diversity of a Major Histocompatibility Complex (MHC) locus and teased apart driving factors shaping its variation. Seven DRB exon 2 alleles were identified among a group of randomly sampled forest musk deer from a captive population in the Sichuan province of China. Compared to other endangered or captive ungulates, forest musk deer have relatively low levels of MHC genetic diversity. Non-synonymous substitutions primarily occurred in the putative peptide-binding region (PBR), with analyses suggesting that recombination and selection has shaped the genetic diversity across the locus. Specifically, inter-allelic recombination generated novel allelic combinations, with evidence for both positive selection acting on the PBR and negative selection on the non-PBR. An improved understanding of functional genetic variability of the MHC will facilitate better design and management of captive breeding programs for this endangered species.