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Gao Y.-S.,Jiangsu Institute of Poultry Science | Jia X.-X.,Jiangsu Institute of Poultry Science | Tang X.-J.,Jiangsu Institute of Poultry Science | Fan Y.-F.,Jiangsu Institute of Poultry Science | And 3 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2017

The Jiangxi Province of China has numerous native domestic chicken breeds, including some black skin breeds. The genetic diversity of Jiangxi native chickens is largely unknown, and specifically, the genetic contribution of the grey junglefowl to black skin chickens is not well understood. To address these questions, the complete D-loop region of the mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) and beta-carotene dioxygenase 2(BCDO2)gene was sequenced in a total of 209 chickens representing seven Jiangxi native breeds. Thirty-one polymorphic sites were identified across the complete mtDNA D-loop region sequence. Twenty-three haplotypes were observed in the seven breeds, which belonged to four distinct mitochondrial clades (A, B, C and E). Clade A and B were dominant in the chickens with a frequency of approximately 67.9%. There were five SNPs that defined two haplotypes, W and Y in BCDO2. Four breeds had one haplotype and three breeds had two. We conclude that Jiangxi native chicken breeds have relatively low genetic diversity and likely share four common maternal lineages from two different maternal ancestors of junglefowl. Furthermore, some Jiangxi chicken populations may have been mixed with chickens with exotic lineage. Further research should be established to protect these domestic chicken resources. © 2017 Gao et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.


PubMed | Jiangsu Institute of Poultry Science and China Agricultural University
Type: Journal Article | Journal: PloS one | Year: 2015

Egg number (EN), egg laying rate (LR) and age at first egg (AFE) are important production traits related to egg production in poultry industry. To better understand the knowledge of genetic architecture of dynamic EN during the whole laying cycle and provide the precise positions of associated variants for EN, LR and AFE, laying records from 21 to 72 weeks of age were collected individually for 1,534 F2 hens produced by reciprocal crosses between White Leghorn and Dongxiang Blue-shelled chicken, and their genotypes were assayed by chicken 600 K Affymetrix high density genotyping arrays. Subsequently, pedigree and SNP-based genetic parameters were estimated and a genome-wide association study (GWAS) was conducted on EN, LR and AFE. The heritability estimates were similar between pedigree and SNP-based estimates varying from 0.17 to 0.36. In the GWA analysis, we identified nine genome-wide significant loci associated with EN of the laying periods from 21 to 26 weeks, 27 to 36 weeks and 37 to 72 weeks. Analysis of GTF2A1 and CLSPN suggested that they influenced the function of ovary and uterus, and may be considered as relevant candidates. The identified SNP rs314448799 for accumulative EN from 21 to 40 weeks on chromosome 5 created phenotypic differences of 6.86 eggs between two homozygous genotypes, which could be potentially applied to the molecular breeding for EN selection. Moreover, our finding showed that LR was a moderate polygenic trait. The suggestive significant region on chromosome 16 for AFE suggested the relationship between sex maturity and immune in the current population. The present study comprehensively evaluates the role of genetic variants in the development of egg laying. The findings will be helpful to investigation of causative genes function and future marker-assisted selection and genomic selection in chickens.


PubMed | Jiangsu Institute of Poultry Science and China Agricultural University
Type: | Journal: BMC genomics | Year: 2015

As a major economic trait in chickens, egg weight (EW) receives widespread interests in breeding, production and consumption. However, limited information is available for underlying genetic architecture of longitudinal trend in EW. Herein, we measured EWs at nine time points from onset of laying to 60 week of age, and conducted comprehensive genome-wide association studies (GWAS) in 1,534 F2 hens derived from reciprocal crosses between White Leghorn and Dongxiang chickens.Egg weights at all ages except the first egg weight (FEW) exhibited high SNP-based heritability estimates (0.47~0.60). Strong pair-wise genetic correlations (0.77~1.00) were found among all EWs. Nine separate univariate genome-wide screens suggested 73 signals showing significant associations with longitudinal EWs. After multivariate and conditional analyses, four variants on three chromosomes remained independent contributions. The minor alleles at two loci exerted consistent and positive substitution effects on EWs, and other two were negative. The four loci together accounted for 3.84 % of the phenotypic variance for FEW and 7.29~11.06 % for EWs from 32 to 60 week of age. We obtained five candidate genes, of which NCAPG harbors a non-synonymous SNP (rs14491030) causing a valine-to-alanine amino-acid substitution. Genome partitioning analysis indicated a strong linear correlation between the variance explained by each chromosome and its length, which provided evidence that EW follows a highly polygenic nature of inheritance.Identification of significant genetic causes that together implicate EWs at different ages will greatly advance our understanding of the genetic basis behind longitudinal EWs, and would be helpful to illuminate the future breeding direction on how to select desired egg size.


PubMed | Jiangsu Institute of Poultry Science and China Agricultural University
Type: | Journal: BMC genomics | Year: 2015

Eggshell is subject to quality loss with aging process of laying hens, and damaged eggshells result in economic losses of eggs. However, the genetic architecture underlying the dynamic eggshell quality remains elusive. Here, we measured eggshell quality traits, including eggshell weight (ESW), eggshell thickness (EST) and eggshell strength (ESS) at 11 time points from onset of laying to 72 weeks of age and conducted comprehensive genome-wide association studies (GWAS) in 1534 F2 hens derived from reciprocal crosses between White Leghorn (WL) and Dongxiang chickens (DX).ESWs at all ages exhibited moderate SNP-based heritability estimates (0.30 ~ 0.46), while the estimates for EST (0.21 ~ 0.31) and ESS (0.20 ~ 0.27) were relatively low. Eleven independent univariate genome-wide screens for each trait totally identified 1059, 1026 and 1356 significant associations with ESW, EST and ESS, respectively. Most significant loci were in a region spanning from 57.3 to 71.4 Mb of chromosome 1 (GGA1), which together account for 8.4 ~ 16.5% of the phenotypic variance for ESW from 32 to 72 weeks of age, 4.1 ~ 6.9% and 2.95 ~ 16.1% for EST and ESS from 40 to 72 weeks of age. According to linkage disequilibrium (LD) and conditional analysis, the significant SNPs in this region were in extremely strong linkage disequilibrium status. Ultimately, two missense SNPs in GGA1 and one in GGA4 were considered as promising loci on three independent genes including ITPR2, PIK3C2G, and NCAPG. The homozygotes of advantageously effective alleles on PIK3C2G and ITPR2 possessed the best eggshell quality and could partly counteract the negative effect of aging process. NCAPG had certain effect on eggshell quality for young hens.Identification of the promising region as well as potential candidate genes will greatly advance our understanding of the genetic basis underlying dynamic eggshell quality and has the practical significance in breeding program for the improvement of eggshell quality, especially at the later part of laying cycle.


PubMed | Jiangsu Institute of Poultry Science and China Agricultural University
Type: Journal Article | Journal: PloS one | Year: 2016

Chicken is recognized as an excellent model for studies of genetic mechanism of phenotypic and genomic evolution, with large effective population size and strong human-driven selection. In the present study, we performed Extended Haplotype Homozygosity (EHH) tests to identify significant core regions employing 600K SNP Chicken chip in an F2 population of 1,534 hens, which was derived from reciprocal crosses between White Leghorn and Dongxiang chicken. Results indicated that a total of 49,151 core regions with an average length of 9.79 Kb were identified, which occupied approximately 52.15% of genome across all autosomes, and 806 significant core regions attracted us mostly. Genes in candidate regions may experience positive selection and were considered to have possible influence on beneficial economic traits. A panel of genes including AASDHPPT, GDPD5, PAR3, SOX6, GPC1 and a signal pathway of AKT1 were detected with the most extreme P-values. Further enrichment analyses indicated that these genes were associated with immune function, sensory organ development and neurogenesis, and may have experienced positive selection in chicken. Moreover, some of core regions exactly overlapped with genes excavated in our previous GWAS, suggesting that these genes have undergone positive selection may affect egg production. Findings in our study could draw a comparatively integrate genome-wide map of selection signature in the chicken genome, and would be worthy for explicating the genetic mechanisms of phenotypic diversity in poultry breeding.


PubMed | Yangzhou University, Jiangsu Institute of Poultry science and China Agricultural University
Type: | Journal: Animal reproduction science | Year: 2016

The reproductive system of a female bird is responsible for egg production. The genes highly expressed in oviduct are potentially important. From RNA-seq analysis, C2H9orf152 (an orthologous gene of human C9orf152) was identified as highly expressed in chicken uterus. To infer its function, we obtained and characterized its complete cDNA sequence, determined its spatiotemporal expression, and probed its transcription factor(s) through pharmaceutical approach. Data showed that the complete cDNA sequence was 1468bp long with a 789bp of open reading frame. Compared to other tested tissues, this gene was highly expressed in the oviduct and liver tissues, especially uterus. Its expression in uterus was gradually increased during developmental and reproductive periods, which verified its involvement in the growth and maturity of reproductive system. In contrast, its expression was not significant different between active and quiescent uterus, suggesting the role of C2H9orf152 in reproduction is likely due to its long-term effect. Moreover, based on its 5-flanking sequence, Foxd3 and Hnf4a were predicted as transcription factors of C2H9orf152. Using berberine or retinoic acid (which can regulate the activities of Hnf4a and Foxd3, respectively), we demonstrated suppression of C2H9orf152 by the chemicals in chicken primary hepatocytes. As retinoic acid regulates calcium metabolism, and Hnf4a is a key nuclear factor to liver, these findings suggest that C2H9orf152 is involved in liver function and calcium metabolism of reproductive system. In conclusion, C2H9orf152 may have a long-term effect on chicken reproductive system by regulating calcium metabolism, suggesting this gene has an important implication in the improvement of egg production and eggshell quality.


PubMed | Jiangsu Institute of Poultry Science and China Agricultural University
Type: Journal Article | Journal: PloS one | Year: 2015

Because it serves as the cytoplasm of the oocyte and provides a large amount of reserves, the egg yolk has biological significance for developing embryos. The ovary and its hierarchy of follicles are the main reproductive organs responsible for yolk deposition in chickens. However, the genetic architecture underlying the yolk and ovarian follicle weights remains elusive. Here, we measured the yolk weight (YW) at 11 age points from onset of egg laying to 72 weeks of age and measured the follicle weight (FW) and ovary weight (OW) at 73 weeks as part of a comprehensive genome-wide association study (GWAS) in 1,534 F2 hens derived from reciprocal crosses between White Leghorn (WL) and Dongxiang chickens (DX). For all ages, YWs exhibited moderate single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP)-based heritability estimates (0.25-0.38), while the estimates for FW (0.16) and OW (0.20) were relatively low. Independent univariate genome-wide screens for each trait identified 12, 3, and 31 novel significant associations with YW, FW, and OW, respectively. A list of candidate genes such as ZAR1, STARD13, ACER1b, ACSBG2, and DHRS12 were identified for having a plausible function in yolk and follicle development. These genes are important to the initiation of embryogenesis, lipid transport, lipoprotein synthesis, lipid droplet promotion, and steroid hormone metabolism, respectively. Our study provides for the first time a genome-wide association (GWA) analysis for follicle and ovary weight. Identification of the promising loci as well as potential candidate genes will greatly advance our understanding of the genetic basis underlying dynamic yolk weight and ovarian follicle development and has practical significance in breeding programs for the alteration of yolk weight at different age points.


PubMed | Yangzhou University and Jiangsu Institute of Poultry science
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Genetics and molecular research : GMR | Year: 2015

Nucleotide-binding oligomerization domain-containing protein-1 (NOD1) is a cytoplasmic pattern recognition receptor (PRR) and a key member of the NOD-like receptor (NLR) family. It has been reported that NLRs recognize a variety of microbial infections to induce the host innate immune response via modulation of NF-B signaling. However, no reports on chicken NOD1 have been reported to date. In the current study, the full-length cDNA sequence of NOD1 was cloned. The complete open reading frame of NOD1 contains 2856 bp and encodes a 951 amino acid protein. Structurally, it is comprised of one caspase recruitment domain at the N-terminus, seven leucine-rich repeat regions at the C-terminus, and one NACHT domain between the N and C-termini. Phylogenetic analyses showed that chicken NOD1 clusters with duck and turkey. Furthermore, tissue-specific expression analyses of chicken NOD1 were performed using quantitative reverse transcription-PCR. NOD1 is widely distributed in various tissues, with the highest expression observed in testes. Finally, induced expression of chNOD1 and its associated adaptor molecule receptor-interacting protein 2, as well as the effector molecule NF-B, was observed following S. enterica serovar Enteritidis infection. These findings highlight the important role of chicken NOD1 in response to pathogenic invasion. The present study is the first report of the cloning, expression, and functional analysis of chicken NOD1 and provides the foundation for future research on the structure and function of chicken NOD1.


PubMed | Jiangsu Institute of Poultry Science
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Genetics and molecular research : GMR | Year: 2015

The fat mass- and obesity-associated gene (FTO) is involved in energy metabolism, but little is known about the chicken FTO gene. The objective of the current study was to detect chicken FTO expression patterns in the hypothalamus, liver, and skeletal muscle during development, and analyze the effects of age and breed on FTO expression. Real-time quantitative polymerase chain reaction results revealed that chicken FTO mRNA was expressed in all of the tissues tested. Chicken FTO exhibited tissue- and breed-specific patterns in the recessive White Plymouth Rock chicken and the Qingyuan partridge chicken. The highest FTO expression level was in the hypothalami of 1-week-old chicks. FTO mRNA was expressed more in the breast muscles and livers of recessive White Plymouth Rock chickens than those of Qingyuan partridge chickens at 1 and 8 weeks of age. These results indicate that FTO probably plays a significant role in energy metabolism at 1 week old, when chicks have undergone metabolic adaptations from yolk dependence to the utilization of exogenous feed.


PubMed | Jiangsu Institute of Poultry science
Type: Journal Article | Journal: British poultry science | Year: 2015

The aim of this study was to construct lentivirus-mediated short hairpin RNA (shRNA) vectors targeting the duck MSTN gene and investigate whether these vectors can affect the development of duck primary cultured embryonic myoblasts. MSTN mRNA levels in the myoblasts were detected using quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR), cell proliferation was assessed by MTT assays and cell differentiation was assayed by photography. MSTN mRNA levels in PLL3.7-MSTN-shRNA1, PLL3.7-MSTN-shRNA2 and PLL3.7-MSTN-shRNA3 lentivirus-mediated shRNA groups were reduced by 61.6%, 76.9% and 79.1%, respectively, compared to control cells. Down-regulation of MSTN in duck embryonic myoblasts stimulated cell proliferation and inhibited differentiation, accompanied by a greater than twofold down-regulation of MyoD expression and up-regulation of Myf5 expression. These results revealed that silencing of MSTN changes the development of duck embryonic myoblasts by regulating the expression level of MyoD and Myf5 genes.

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