A Transcriptomic Study of the Tail Fat Deposition in Two Types of Hulun Buir Sheep According to Tail Size and Sex

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  • Hongying Fan, Ocean University of China, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences
  • ,
  • Yali Hou, University of Chinese Academy of Sciences
  • ,
  • Goutam Sahana
  • Hongding Gao
  • Caiye Zhu, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences
  • ,
  • Lixin Du, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences
  • ,
  • Fuping Zhao, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences
  • ,
  • Lixian Wang, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences

Simple Summary Based on tail types, Hulun Buir sheep were divided into two lines including small and big fat-tailed, but these two lines have similar genetic background. In this study, we investigated the morphology and transcription level differences of tail fat between these two lines. The RNA-seq analyses indicated several differentially expressed genes when compared between sexes or two tail sizes. Interestingly, we also found an obvious sex difference in the fat metabolism in Hulun Buir sheep. Two different co-expression networks were only shown either in male or in female sheep. Our findings will provide theoretical background in understanding the genetic mechanism of fat deposition in sheep. Hulun Buir sheep of similar genetic background were divided into two lines based on tail types: Small- and big fat-tailed. To explore the molecular mechanism of fat deposition in sheep tails, we firstly evaluated the morphology and transcription level differences of tail fat between these two lines. RNA-Seq technology was used to identify differentially expressed genes (DEGs) in phenotypic extremes of tail sizes. Five comparisons were performed taking into account two factors, sex and tail type. We screened out 373 DEGs between big-tailed and small-tailed Hulun Buir sheep, and 775 and 578 DEGs between two types of tails in male and female sheep, respectively. The results showed an obvious sex difference in the fat metabolism in sheep based on gene ontology (GO), pathway, and network analyses. Intriguingly, there were two different co-expression networks only respectively shown in male and female sheep, which were insulin-related network acting on upstream pathways and PPARG-related network effect in downstream pathways. Furthermore, these two networks were linked by a classic pathway of regulating adipogenesis. This is the first study to investigate the sex differences of fat metabolism in domestic animals, and it demonstrates a new experimental way to study fat metabolism. Our findings will provide theoretical background in understanding the tail-size phenotype in sheep and can be exploited in breeding small-tailed sheep.

OriginalsprogEngelsk
Artikelnummer655
TidsskriftAnimals
Vol/bind9
Nummer9
Antal sider17
ISSN2076-2615
DOI
StatusUdgivet - sep. 2019

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