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Open AccessArticle

Transcriptome Profile Analysis of Mammary Gland Tissue from Two Breeds of Lactating Sheep

1
Gansu Key Laboratory of Herbivorous Animal Biotechnology, Faculty of Animal Science and Technology, Gansu Agricultural University, Lanzhou 730070, China
2
Gene-Marker Laboratory, Faculty of Agriculture and Life Science, Lincoln University, Lincoln 7647, New Zealand
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Genes 2019, 10(10), 781; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes10100781
Received: 19 September 2019 / Revised: 1 October 2019 / Accepted: 4 October 2019 / Published: 8 October 2019
(This article belongs to the Section Animal Genetics and Genomics)
The mammary gland is a crucial tissue for milk synthesis and plays a critical role in the feeding and growth of mammalian offspring. The aim of this study was to use RNA-sequencing (RNA-Seq) technology to provide a transcriptome profile of the ovine mammary gland at the peak of lactation. Small-Tailed Han (STH) sheep (n = 9) and Gansu Alpine Merino (GAM) sheep (n = 9), breeds with phenotypic differences in milk production traits, were selected for the RNA-Seq analysis. This revealed 74 genes that were more highly expressed in the STHs than in the GAMs. Similarly, 143 genes that were expressed at lower levels in the STHs than in the GAMs, were identified. Gene ontogeny (GO) and Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes (KEGG) enrichment analyses revealed that these differentially expressed genes (DEGs) were associated with binding and catalytic activities, hematopoietic cell lineages, oxytocin signaling pathway and neuroactive ligand–receptor interaction. This is the first study of the transcriptome profile of the ovine mammary gland in these Chinese breeds at peak lactation. The results provide for a better understanding of the genetic mechanisms involved in ovine lactation.
Keywords: RNA-Seq; mammary gland; differentially expressed gene; sheep RNA-Seq; mammary gland; differentially expressed gene; sheep
MDPI and ACS Style

Hao, Z.; Zhou, H.; Hickford, J.G.; Gong, H.; Wang, J.; Hu, J.; Liu, X.; Li, S.; Zhao, M.; Luo, Y. Transcriptome Profile Analysis of Mammary Gland Tissue from Two Breeds of Lactating Sheep. Genes 2019, 10, 781.

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