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Ileal Transcriptome Profiles of Japanese Quail Divergent in Phosphorus Utilization
Open AccessArticle

Identification of the Key Molecular Drivers of Phosphorus Utilization Based on Host miRNA-mRNA and Gut Microbiome Interactions

Leibniz Institute for Farm Animal Biology (FBN), 18196 Dummerstorf, Germany
Institute of Animal Science, University of Hohenheim, 70599 Stuttgart, Germany
Faculty of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, University Rostock, 18059 Rostock, Germany
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21(8), 2818;
Received: 8 March 2020 / Revised: 6 April 2020 / Accepted: 16 April 2020 / Published: 17 April 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Exploring the Genotype–Phenotype Map: Regulatory Pathways)
Phosphorus is an essential mineral for all living organisms and a limited resource worldwide. Variation and heritability of phosphorus utilization (PU) traits were observed, indicating the general possibility of improvement. Molecular mechanisms of PU, including host and microbial effects, are still poorly understood. The most promising molecules that interact between the microbiome and host are microRNAs. Japanese quail representing extremes for PU were selected from an F2 population for miRNA profiling of the ileal tissue and subsequent association with mRNA and microbial data of the same animals. Sixty-nine differentially expressed miRNAs were found, including 21 novel and 48 known miRNAs. Combining miRNAs and mRNAs based on correlated expression and target prediction revealed enrichment of transcripts in functional pathways involved in phosphate or bone metabolism such as RAN, estrogen receptor and Wnt signaling, and immune pathways. Out of 55 genera of microbiota, seven were found to be differentially abundant between PU groups. The study reveals molecular interactions occurring in the gut of quail which represent extremes for PU including miRNA-16-5p, miR-142b-5p, miR-148a-3p, CTDSP1, SMAD3, IGSF10, Bacteroides, and Alistipes as key indicators due to their trait-dependent differential expression and occurrence as hub-members of the network of molecular drivers of PU. View Full-Text
Keywords: phosphorus utilization; microRNA; mRNA; microbiota phosphorus utilization; microRNA; mRNA; microbiota
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Ponsuksili, S.; Reyer, H.; Hadlich, F.; Weber, F.; Trakooljul, N.; Oster, M.; Siengdee, P.; Muráni, E.; Rodehutscord, M.; Camarinha-Silva, A.; Bennewitz, J.; Wimmers, K. Identification of the Key Molecular Drivers of Phosphorus Utilization Based on Host miRNA-mRNA and Gut Microbiome Interactions. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21, 2818.

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