Project description:Ovulation rate and litter size are important reproductive traits in sheep with high economic value. Recent work has revealed a potential link between DNA methylation and prolificacy. However, a genome-wide study that sought to identify potential DNA methylation sites involved in sheep prolificacy indicated that it is still unknown. Here, we aimed to investigate the genome-wide DNA methylation profiles of Hu sheep ovaries by comparing a high-prolificacy group (HP, litter size of three for at least 2 consecutive lambings) and low prolificacy group (LP, litter size of one for at least 2 consecutive lambings) using deep whole-genome bisulfite sequencing (WGBS).First, our results demonstrated lower expression levels of DNA methyltransferase (DNMT) genes in the ovaries of the HP group than that in the ovaries of the LP group. Both groups showed similar proportions of methylation at CpG sites but different proportions at non-CpG sites. Subsequently, we identified 70,899 differential methylated regions (DMRs) of CG, 16 DMRs of CHG, 356 DMRs of CHH and 12,832 DMR-related genes(DMGs). Gene Ontology (GO) analyses revealed that some DMGs were involved in regulating female gonad development and ovarian follicle development. Finally, we found that 10 DMGs, including BMP7, BMPR1B, CTNNB1, FST, FSHR, LHCGR, TGFB2 and TGFB3, are more likely to be involved in prolificacy of Hu sheep, as assessed by correlation analysis and listed in detail.This study revealed the global DNA methylation pattern of sheep ovaries associated with high and low prolificacy groups, which may contribute to a better understanding of the epigenetic regulation of sheep reproductive capacity.
Project description:We performed a genome-wide analysis of mRNAs and lncRNAs from Small Tail Han sheep of genotypes FecBBFecBB (Han BB) and FecB+ FecB+ (Han++) and from Dorset sheep (Dorset) to identify potential regulators of fecundity. An integrated analysis revealed significantly correlated patterns of expression. Dramatic changes of mRNAs and lncRNAs suggest their critical roles in sheep fecundity. This study provides a novel view of the regulatory mechanisms involved in sheep fecundity. Overall design: Ovary transcritomic profiles of different sheep were generated by RNA-Seq, in triplicate, using Illumina HiSeq 2000.
Project description:we constructed a methylated DNA immunoprecipitation combined with high throughput sequencing (MeDIP-seq) strategy to investigate the differentially methylated genes between the Dorset, HanBB and Han++ sheep ovaries. Our findings suggest the genes involved in immune response, branched-chain amino acid metabolism, cell growth and cell junction were differentially methylated in or around the gene body regions. These findings provide prospective insights on the epigenetic basis of sheep fecundity. Overall design: Construction of a methylated DNA immunoprecipitation combined with high throughput sequencing (MeDIP-seq) strategy to investigate the differentially methylated genes in the ovaries between Dorset, HanBB and Han++ sheep.
Project description:The Qira black sheep and the Hetian sheep are two local breeds in the Northwest of China, which are characterized by high-fecundity and low-fecundity breed respectively. The elucidation of mRNA expression profiles in the ovaries among different sheep breeds representing fecundity extremes will helpful for identification and utilization of major prolificacy genes in sheep. In the present study, we performed RNA-seq technology to compare the difference in ovarian mRNA expression profiles between Qira black sheep and Hetian sheep. From the Qira black sheep and the Hetian sheep libraries, we obtained a total of 11,747,582 and 11,879,968 sequencing reads, respectively. After aligning to the reference sequences, the two libraries included 16,763 and 16,814 genes respectively. A total of 1,252 genes were significantly differentially expressed at Hetian sheep compared with Qira black sheep. Eight differentially expressed genes were randomly selected for validation by real-time RT-PCR. This study provides a basic data for future research of the sheep reproduction.
Project description:Reproduction is an important trait in sheep breeding as well as in other livestock. However, despite its importance the genetic mechanisms of litter size in domestic sheep (Ovis aries) are still poorly understood. To explore genetic mechanisms underlying the variation in litter size, we conducted multiple independent genome-wide association studies in five sheep breeds of high prolificacy (Wadi, Hu, Icelandic, Finnsheep, and Romanov) and one low prolificacy (Texel) using the Ovine Infinium HD BeadChip, respectively. We identified different sets of candidate genes associated with litter size in different breeds: BMPR1B, FBN1, and MMP2 in Wadi; GRIA2, SMAD1, and CTNNB1 in Hu; NCOA1 in Icelandic; INHBB, NF1, FLT1, PTGS2, and PLCB3 in Finnsheep; ESR2 in Romanov and ESR1, GHR, ETS1, MMP15, FLI1, and SPP1 in Texel. Further annotation of genes and bioinformatics analyses revealed that different biological pathways could be involved in the variation in litter size of females: hormone secretion (FSH and LH) in Wadi and Hu, placenta and embryonic lethality in Icelandic, folliculogenesis and LH signaling in Finnsheep, ovulation and preovulatory follicle maturation in Romanov, and estrogen and follicular growth in Texel. Taken together, our results provide new insights into the genetic mechanisms underlying the prolificacy trait in sheep and other mammals, suggesting targets for selection where the aim is to increase prolificacy in breeding projects.
Project description:Chinese indigenous sheep can be classified into three types based on tail morphology: fat-tailed, fat-rumped, and thin-tailed sheep, of which the typical breeds are large-tailed Han sheep, Altay sheep, and Tibetan sheep, respectively. To unravel the genetic mechanisms underlying the phenotypic differences among Chinese indigenous sheep with tails of three different types, we used ovine high-density 600K SNP arrays to detect genome-wide copy number variation (CNV). In large-tailed Han sheep, Altay sheep, and Tibetan sheep, 371, 301, and 66 CNV regions (CNVRs) with lengths of 71.35?Mb, 51.65?Mb, and 10.56?Mb, respectively, were identified on autosomal chromosomes. Ten CNVRs were randomly chosen for confirmation, of which eight were successfully validated. The detected CNVRs harboured 3130 genes, including genes associated with fat deposition, such as PPARA, RXRA, KLF11, ADD1, FASN, PPP1CA, PDGFA, and PEX6. Moreover, multilevel bioinformatics analyses of the detected candidate genes were significantly enriched for involvement in fat deposition, GTPase regulator, and peptide receptor activities. This is the first high-resolution sheep CNV map for Chinese indigenous sheep breeds with three types of tails. Our results provide valuable information that will support investigations of genomic structural variation underlying traits of interest in sheep.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Commercial sheep raised for mutton grow faster than traditional Chinese sheep breeds. Here, we aimed to evaluate genetic selection among three different types of sheep breed: two well-known commercial mutton breeds and one indigenous Chinese breed. RESULTS:We first combined locus-specific branch lengths and di statistical methods to detect candidate regions targeted by selection in the three different populations. The results showed that the genetic distances reached at least medium divergence for each pairwise combination. We found these two methods were highly correlated, and identified many growth-related candidate genes undergoing artificial selection. For production traits, APOBR and FTO are associated with body mass index. For meat traits, ALDOA, STK32B and FAM190A are related to marbling. For reproduction traits, CCNB2 and SLC8A3 affect oocyte development. We also found two well-known genes, GHR (which affects meat production and quality) and EDAR (associated with hair thickness) were associated with German mutton merino sheep. Furthermore, four genes (POL, RPL7, MSL1 and SHISA9) were associated with pre-weaning gain in our previous genome-wide association study. CONCLUSIONS:Our results indicated that combine locus-specific branch lengths and di statistical approaches can reduce the searching ranges for specific selection. And we got many credible candidate genes which not only confirm the results of previous reports, but also provide a suite of novel candidate genes in defined breeds to guide hybridization breeding.
Project description:Tibetan sheep have lived on the Tibetan Plateau for thousands of years; however, the process and consequences of adaptation to this extreme environment have not been elucidated for important livestock such as sheep. Here, seven sheep breeds, representing both highland and lowland breeds from different areas of China, were genotyped for a genome-wide collection of single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs). The FST and XP-EHH approaches were used to identify regions harbouring local positive selection between these highland and lowland breeds, and 236 genes were identified. We detected selection events spanning genes involved in angiogenesis, energy production and erythropoiesis. In particular, several candidate genes were associated with high-altitude hypoxia, including EPAS1, CRYAA, LONP1, NF1, DPP4, SOD1, PPARG and SOCS2. EPAS1 plays a crucial role in hypoxia adaption; therefore, we investigated the exon sequences of EPAS1 and identified 12 mutations. Analysis of the relationship between blood-related phenotypes and EPAS1 genotypes in additional highland sheep revealed that a homozygous mutation at a relatively conserved site in the EPAS1 3' untranslated region was associated with increased mean corpuscular haemoglobin concentration and mean corpuscular volume. Taken together, our results provide evidence of the genetic diversity of highland sheep and indicate potential high-altitude hypoxia adaptation mechanisms, including the role of EPAS1 in adaptation.
Project description:Substantial evidence has shown that DNA methylation regulates the initiation of ovarian and sexual maturation. Here, we investigated the genome-wide profile of DNA methylation in porcine ovaries at single-base resolution using reduced representation bisulfite sequencing. The biological variation was minimal among the three ovarian replicates. We found hypermethylation frequently occurred in regions with low gene abundance, while hypomethylation in regions with high gene abundance. The DNA methylation around transcriptional start sites was negatively correlated with their own CpG content. Additionally, the methylation level in the bodies of genes was higher than that in their 5' and 3' flanking regions. The DNA methylation pattern of the low CpG content promoter genes differed obviously from that of the high CpG content promoter genes. The DNA methylation level of the porcine ovary was higher than that of the porcine intestine. Analyses of the genome-wide DNA methylation in porcine ovaries would advance the knowledge and understanding of the porcine ovarian methylome.