171 research outputs found

    Heritable genome-wide variation of gene expression and promoter methylation between wild and domesticated chickens

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    <p>Abstract</p> <p>Background</p> <p>Variations in gene expression, mediated by epigenetic mechanisms, may cause broad phenotypic effects in animals. However, it has been debated to what extent expression variation and epigenetic modifications, such as patterns of DNA methylation, are transferred across generations, and therefore it is uncertain what role epigenetic variation may play in adaptation.</p> <p>Results</p> <p>In Red Junglefowl, ancestor of domestic chickens, gene expression and methylation profiles in thalamus/hypothalamus differed substantially from that of a domesticated egg laying breed. Expression as well as methylation differences were largely maintained in the offspring, demonstrating reliable inheritance of epigenetic variation. Some of the inherited methylation differences were tissue-specific, and the differential methylation at specific loci were little changed after eight generations of intercrossing between Red Junglefowl and domesticated laying hens. There was an over-representation of differentially expressed and methylated genes in selective sweep regions associated with chicken domestication.</p> <p>Conclusions</p> <p>Our results show that epigenetic variation is inherited in chickens, and we suggest that selection of favourable epigenomes, either by selection of genotypes affecting epigenetic states, or by selection of methylation states which are inherited independently of sequence differences, may have been an important aspect of chicken domestication.</p

    Differential gene expression in femoral bone from red junglefowl and domestic chicken, differing for bone phenotypic traits

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    <p>Abstract</p> <p>Background</p> <p>Osteoporosis is frequently observed among aging hens from egg-producing strains (layers) of domestic chicken. White Leghorn (WL) has been intensively selected for egg production and it manifests striking phenotypic differences for a number of traits including several bone phenotypes in comparison with the wild ancestor of chicken, the red junglefowl (RJ). Previously, we have identified four Quantitative Trait Loci (QTL) affecting bone mineral density and bone strength in an intercross between RJ and WL. With the aim of further elucidating the genetic basis of bone traits in chicken, we have now utilized cDNA-microarray technology in order to compare global RNA-expression in femoral bone from adult RJ and WL (five of each sex and population).</p> <p>Results</p> <p>When contrasting microarray data for all WL-individuals to that of all RJ-individuals we observed differential expression (False discovery rate adjusted p-values < 0.015) for 604 microarray probes. In corresponding male and female contrasts, differential expression was observed for 410 and 270 probes, respectively. Altogether, the three contrasts between WL and RJ revealed differential expression of 779 unique transcripts, 57 of which are located to previously identified QTL-regions for bone traits. Some differentially expressed genes have previously been attributed roles in bone metabolism and these were: WNT inhibitory factor 1 (WIF1), WD repeat-containing protein 5 (WDR5) and Syndecan 3 (SDC3). Among differentially expressed transcripts, those encoding structural ribosomal proteins were highly enriched and all 15 had lower expression in WL.</p> <p>Conclusion</p> <p>We report the identification of 779 differentially expressed transcripts, several residing within QTL-regions for bone traits. Among differentially expressed transcripts, those encoding structural ribosomal proteins were highly enriched and all had lower expression levels in WL. In addition, transcripts encoding four translation initiation and translation elongation factor proteins also had lower expression levels in WL, possibly indicating perturbation of protein biosynthesis pathways between the two populations. Information derived from this study could be relevant to the bone research field and may also aid in further inference of genetic changes accompanying animal domestication.</p

    Spatiotemporal variations in retrovirus-host interactions among Darwin's finches

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    Endogenous retroviruses (ERVs) are inherited remnants of retroviruses that colonized host germline over millions of years, providing a sampling of retroviral diversity across time. Here, we utilize the strength of Darwin's finches, a system synonymous with evolutionary studies, for investigating ERV history, revealing recent retrovirus-host interactions in natural populations. By mapping ERV variation across all species of Darwin's finches and comparing with outgroup species, we highlight geographical and historical patterns of retrovirus-host occurrence, utilizing the system for evaluating the extent and timing of retroviral activity in hosts undergoing adaptive radiation and colonization of new environments. We find shared ERVs among all samples indicating retrovirus-host associations pre-dating host speciation, as well as considerable ERV variation across populations of the entire Darwin's finches' radiation. Unexpected ERV variation in finch species on different islands suggests historical changes in gene flow and selection. Non-random distribution of ERVs along and between chromosomes, and across finch species, suggests association between ERV accumulation and the rapid speciation of Darwin's finches.Endogenous retroviruses (ERV) are inherited remains of retroviruses that have colonized host genomes during evolution. Here the authors observe considerable species-specific ERV variation among Darwin's finches, reflecting historic retrovirus-host interactions

    The Airlines’ Recent Experience Under the Railway Labor Act

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    Silky-feather has been selected and fixed in some breeds due to its unique appearance. This phenotype is caused by a single recessive gene (hookless, h). Here we map the silky-feather locus to chromosome 3 by linkage analysis and subsequently fine-map it to an 18.9 kb interval using the identical by descent (IBD) method. Further analysis reveals that a C to G transversion located upstream of the prenyl (decaprenyl) diphosphate synthase, subunit 2 (PDSS2) gene is causing silky-feather. All silky-feather birds are homozygous for the G allele. The silky-feather mutation significantly decreases the expression of PDSS2 during feather development in vivo. Consistent with the regulatory effect, the C to G transversion is shown to remarkably reduce PDSS2 promoter activity in vitro. We report a new example of feather structure variation associated with a spontaneous mutation and provide new insight into the PDSS2 function

    Whole-genome genotyping and resequencing reveal the association of a deletion in the complex interferon alpha gene cluster with hypothyroidism in dogs

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    Background: Hypothyroidism is a common complex endocrinopathy that typically has an autoimmune etiology, and it affects both humans and dogs. Genetic and environmental factors are both known to play important roles in the disease development. In this study, we sought to identify the genetic risk factors potentially involved in the susceptibility to the disease in the high-risk Giant Schnauzer dog breed. Results: By employing genome-wide association followed by fine-mapping (top variant p-value=5.7x10(-6)), integrated with whole-genome resequencing and copy number variation analysis, we detected a similar to 8.9 kbp deletion strongly associated (p-value=0.0001) with protection against development of hypothyroidism. The deletion is located between two predicted Interferon alpha (IFNA) genes and it may eliminate functional elements potentially involved in the transcriptional regulation of these genes. Remarkably, type I IFNs have been extensively associated to human autoimmune hypothyroidism and general autoimmunity. Nonetheless, the extreme genomic complexity of the associated region on CFA11 warrants further long-read sequencing and annotation efforts in order to ascribe functions to the identified deletion and to characterize the canine IFNA gene cluster in more detail. Conclusions: Our results expand the current knowledge on genetic determinants of canine hypothyroidism by revealing a significant link with the human counterpart disease, potentially translating into better diagnostic tools across species, and may contribute to improved canine breeding strategies

    ZBED6 Modulates the Transcription of Myogenic Genes in Mouse Myoblast Cells

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    ZBED6 is a recently discovered transcription factor, unique to placental mammals, that has evolved from a domesticated DNA transposon. It acts as a repressor at the IGF2 locus. Here we show that ZBED6 acts as a transcriptional modulator in mouse myoblast cells, where more than 700 genes were differentially expressed after Zbed6-silencing. The most significantly enriched GO term was muscle protein and contractile fiber, which was consistent with increased myotube formation. Twenty small nucleolar RNAs all showed increased expression after Zbed6-silencing. The co-localization of histone marks and ZBED6 binding sites and the effect of Zbed6-silencing on distribution of histone marks was evaluated by ChIP-seq analysis. There was a strong association between ZBED6 binding sites and the H3K4me3, H3K4me2 and H3K27ac modifications, which are usually found at active promoters, but no association with the repressive mark H3K27me3. Zbed6-silencing led to increased enrichment of active marks at myogenic genes, in agreement with the RNA-seq findings. We propose that ZBED6 preferentially binds to active promoters and modulates transcriptional activity without recruiting repressive histone modifications

    Comparison of anadromous and landlocked Atlantic salmon genomes reveals signatures of parallel and relaxed selection across the Northern Hemisphere

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    Most Atlantic salmon (Salmo salarL.) populations follow an anadromous life cycle, spending early life in freshwater, migrating to the sea for feeding, and returning to rivers to spawn. At the end of the last ice age similar to 10,000 years ago, several populations of Atlantic salmon became landlocked. Comparing their genomes to their anadromous counterparts can help identify genetic variation related to either freshwater residency or anadromy. The objective of this study was to identify consistently divergent loci between anadromous and landlocked Atlantic salmon strains throughout their geographical distribution, with the long-term aim of identifying traits relevant for salmon aquaculture, including fresh and seawater growth, omega-3 metabolism, smoltification, and disease resistance. We used a Pool-seq approach (n = 10-40 individuals per population) to sequence the genomes of twelve anadromous and six landlocked Atlantic salmon populations covering a large part of the Northern Hemisphere and conducted a genomewide association study to identify genomic regions having been under different selection pressure in landlocked and anadromous strains. A total of 28 genomic regions were identified and includedcadm1on Chr 13 andppargc1aon Chr 18. Seven of the regions additionally displayed consistently reduced heterozygosity in fish obtained from landlocked populations, including the genes gpr132, cdca4, and sertad2 on Chr 15. We also found 16 regions, includingigf1on Chr 17, which consistently display reduced heterozygosity in the anadromous populations compared to the freshwater populations, indicating relaxed selection on traits associated with anadromy in landlocked salmon. In conclusion, we have identified 37 regions which may harbor genetic variation relevant for improving fish welfare and quality in the salmon farming industry and for understanding life-history traits in fish.Peer reviewe

    Genetics of adaptation in modern chicken

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    This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.We carried out whole genome resequencing of 127 chicken including red jungle fowl and multiple populations of commercial broilers and layers to perform a systematic screening of adaptive changes in modern chicken (Gallus gallus domesticus). We uncovered >21 million high quality SNPs of which 34% are newly detected variants. This panel comprises >115,000 predicted amino-acid altering substitutions as well as 1,100 SNPs predicted to be stop-gain or -loss, several of which reach high frequencies. Signatures of selection were investigated both through analyses of fixation and differentiation to reveal selective sweeps that may have had prominent roles during domestication and breed development. Contrasting wild and domestic chicken we confirmed selection at the BCO2 and TSHR loci and identified 34 putative sweeps co-localized with ALX1, KITLG, EPGR, IGF1, DLK1, JPT2, CRAMP1, and GLI3, among others. Analysis of enrichment between groups of wild vs. commercials and broilers vs. layers revealed a further panel of candidate genes including CORIN, SKIV2L2 implicated in pigmentation and LEPR, MEGF10 and SPEF2, suggestive of production-oriented selection. SNPs with marked allele frequency differences between wild and domestic chicken showed a highly significant deficiency in the proportion of amino-acid altering mutations (P<2.5×10−6). The results contribute to the understanding of major genetic changes that took place during the evolution of modern chickens and in poultry breeding

    The nedd-8 activating enzyme gene underlies genetic resistance to infectious pancreatic necrosis virus in Atlantic salmon

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    Genetic resistance to infectious pancreatic necrosis virus (IPNV) in Atlantic salmon is a rare example of a trait where a single locus (QTL) explains almost all of the genetic variation. Genetic marker tests based on this QTL on salmon chromosome 26 have been widely applied in selective breeding to markedly reduce the incidence of the disease. In the current study, whole genome sequencing and functional annotation approaches were applied to characterise genes and variants in the QTL region. This was complemented by an analysis of differential expression between salmon fry of homozygous resistant and homozygous susceptible genotypes challenged with IPNV. These analyses pointed to the NEDD-8 activating enzyme 1 (nae1) gene as a putative functional candidate underlying the QTL effect. The role of nae1 in IPN resistance was further assessed via CRISPR-Cas9 knockout of the nae1 gene and chemical inhibition of the nae1 protein activity in Atlantic salmon cell lines, both of which resulted in highly significant reduction in productive IPNV replication. In contrast, CRISPR-Cas9 knockout of a candidate gene previously purported to be a cellular receptor for the virus (cdh1) did not have a major impact on productive IPNV replication. These results suggest that nae1 is the causative gene underlying the major QTL affecting resistance to IPNV in salmon, provide further evidence for the critical role of neddylation in host-pathogen interactions, and highlight the value in combining high-throughput genomics approaches with targeted genome editing to understand the genetic basis of disease resistance

    Rapid adaptive radiation of Darwin's finches depends on ancestral genetic modules

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    Recent adaptive radiations are models for investigating mechanisms contributing to the evolution of biodiversity. An unresolved question is the relative importance of new mutations, ancestral variants, and introgressive hybridization for phenotypic evolution and speciation. Here, we address this issue using Darwin's finches and investigate the genomic architecture underlying their phenotypic diversity. Admixture mapping for beak and body size in the small, medium, and large ground finches revealed 28 loci showing strong genetic differentiation. These loci represent ancestral haplotype blocks with origins predating speciation events during the Darwin's finch radiation. Genes expressed in the developing beak are overrepresented in these genomic regions. Ancestral haplotypes constitute genetic modules for selection and act as key determinants of the unusual phenotypic diversity of Darwin's finches. Such ancestral haplotype blocks can be critical for how species adapt to environmental variability and change
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