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Animals 2018, 8(7), 127;

Identification and Characterization of Long Noncoding RNAs in Ovine Skeletal Muscle

Institute of Animal Sciences, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Beijing 100193, China
College of Animal Science and Technology, Gansu Agriculture University, Lanzhou 730070, China
College of Animal Science and Technology, Henan University of Science and Technology, Luoyang 471023, China
These authors contributed equally to this work.
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 7 June 2018 / Revised: 13 July 2018 / Accepted: 17 July 2018 / Published: 23 July 2018
(This article belongs to the Section Farm Animals)
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Simple Summary

LncRNAs may play important role in many biological processes. The aims of this research were to identify potential lncRNAs active in skeletal muscle of the Texel and Ujumqin sheep and investigate their functions. Overall, 2002 lncRNA transcripts were found, some of which may be related to muscle development. The findings obtained here should promote understanding of the regulatory functions of lncRNAs in ovine muscle development and potentially also in other mammals.


Long noncoding RNAs (lncRNAs) are increasingly being recognized as key regulators in many cellular processes. However, few reports of them in livestock have been published. Here, we describe the identification and characterization of lncRNAs in ovine skeletal muscle. Eight libraries were constructed from the gastrocnemius muscle of fetal (days 85 and 120), newborn and adult Texel and Ujumqin sheep. The 2002 identified transcripts shared some characteristics, such as their number of exons, length and distribution. We also identified some coding genes near these lncRNA transcripts, which are particularly associated with transcriptional regulation- and development-related processes, suggesting that the lncRNAs are associated with muscle development. In addition, in pairwise comparisons between the libraries of the same stage in different breeds, a total of 967 transcripts were differentially expressed but just 15 differentially expressed lncRNAs were common to all stages. Among them, we found that TCONS_00013201 exhibited higher expression in Ujumqin samples, while TCONS_00006187 and TCONS_00083104 were higher in Texel samples. Moreover, TCONS_00044801, TCONS_00008482 and TCONS_00102859 were almost completely absent from Ujumqin samples. Our results suggest that differences in the expression of these lncRNAs may be associated with the muscular differences observed between Texel and Ujumqin sheep breeds. View Full-Text
Keywords: muscle development; lncRNA; sheep; differential expression muscle development; lncRNA; sheep; differential expression

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Li, Q.; Liu, R.; Zhao, H.; Di, R.; Lu, Z.; Liu, E.; Wang, Y.; Chu, M.; Wei, C. Identification and Characterization of Long Noncoding RNAs in Ovine Skeletal Muscle. Animals 2018, 8, 127.

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