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Identification of Differentially Expressed Genes between White and Black Skin Tissues by RNA-Seq in the Tibetan Sheep (Ovis aries)

Identification of Differentially Expressed Genes between White and Black Skin Tissues by RNA-Seq in the Tibetan Sheep (Ovis aries)

Zhen-Yang Wu1, Li Li1, Yu-Hua Fu2, Sheng Wang3, Qing-Ming An1, Xiao-Hui Tang4, Xiao-Yong Du3,5,* and Fei Zhou6,*

1Tongren University, Tongren 554300, Guizhou, PR China
2School of Computer Science and Technology, Wuhan University of Technology, Wuhan, 430070, Hubei, PR China
3Key Laboratory of Swine Genetics and Breeding of Ministry of Agriculture and Key Laboratory of Agriculture Animal Genetics, Breeding and Reproduction of Ministry of Education, College of Animal Science, Huazhong Agricultural University, Wuhan, 430070, Hubei, PR China
4Tibet Agricultural and Animal Husbandry University, Linzhi 860000, Tibet, PR China
5Hubei Key Laboratory of Agricultural Bioinformatics, College of Informatics, Huazhong Agricultural University, Wuhan, 430070, Hubei, PR China
6School of Civil Engineering and Architecture, Hubei University of Arts and Science, Xiangyang 441053, Hubei, PR China
 
*      Corresponding authors: duxiaoyong@mail.hzau.edu.cn; zhoufei-0521@qq.com

ABSTRACT

Tibetan sheep is one of China’s three coarse-wool sheep, the wool is mainly used for the production of Tibetan carpets and its coat color as one of important economic traits which can affect wool price directly. In this study, to investigate the functional roles of genes in Tibetan sheep skin with different coat colors, we sequenced genes from six skin samples using Solexa sequencing. The RNA-Seq analysis generated 63,283,784 and 63,644,062 clean reads in black and white skin, respectively. A total of 60 differentially expressed genes (DEGs) were identified, providing evidence that the different coat color skin changed considerably. Among these differentially expressed genes, there were 18 up-regulated genes and 42 down-regulated genes in black skin tissue. Further analysis showed that these genes involved a series of biological processes such as “pigment biosynthetic process” and “pigment metabolic process”. KEGG pathways were analyzed for the differentially expressed genes and show that Melanogenesis signaling pathway may affect the process of coat color formation. Quantitative PCR confirmed differential expression of thirteen genes, TYR, TYRP1, TYRP2, MITF, β-catenin, Wnt3a and so on. These results will expand our understanding of the complex molecular mechanisms of coat color in Tibetan sheep and provide a foundation for future studies.
 

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Pakistan Journal of Zoology

June

Vol. 53, Iss. 3, Pages 801-1200

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