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Toxins 2016, 8(1), 16; doi:10.3390/toxins8010016

Hepatic Transcriptome Responses of Domesticated and Wild Turkey Embryos to Aflatoxin B1

Department of Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Minnesota, St. Paul, MN 55108, USA
Department of Animal, Dairy and Veterinary Sciences, College of Agriculture, Utah State University, Logan, UT 84322, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Shohei Sakuda
Received: 30 November 2015 / Revised: 23 December 2015 / Accepted: 30 December 2015 / Published: 6 January 2016
(This article belongs to the Collection Aflatoxins)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [2254 KB, uploaded 6 January 2016]   |  


The mycotoxin, aflatoxin B1 (AFB1) is a hepatotoxic, immunotoxic, and mutagenic contaminant of food and animal feeds. In poultry, AFB1 can be maternally transferred to embryonated eggs, affecting development, viability and performance after hatch. Domesticated turkeys (Meleagris gallopavo) are especially sensitive to aflatoxicosis, while Eastern wild turkeys (M. g. silvestris) are likely more resistant. In ovo exposure provided a controlled AFB1 challenge and comparison of domesticated and wild turkeys. Gene expression responses to AFB1 in the embryonic hepatic transcriptome were examined using RNA-sequencing (RNA-seq). Eggs were injected with AFB1 (1 μg) or sham control and dissected for liver tissue after 1 day or 5 days of exposure. Libraries from domesticated turkey (n = 24) and wild turkey (n = 15) produced 89.2 Gb of sequence. Approximately 670 M reads were mapped to a turkey gene set. Differential expression analysis identified 1535 significant genes with |log2 fold change| ≥ 1.0 in at least one pair-wise comparison. AFB1 effects were dependent on exposure time and turkey type, occurred more rapidly in domesticated turkeys, and led to notable up-regulation in cell cycle regulators, NRF2-mediated response genes and coagulation factors. Further investigation of NRF2-response genes may identify targets to improve poultry resistance. View Full-Text
Keywords: aflatoxin; domesticated turkey; wild turkey; embryonic; liver; RNA-seq; differential expression aflatoxin; domesticated turkey; wild turkey; embryonic; liver; RNA-seq; differential expression

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Monson, M.S.; Cardona, C.J.; Coulombe, R.A.; Reed, K.M. Hepatic Transcriptome Responses of Domesticated and Wild Turkey Embryos to Aflatoxin B1. Toxins 2016, 8, 16.

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