Special Issue "Genetics, Genomics, Transcriptomics, Proteomics, Health and Product Quality of Small Ruminants"

A special issue of Animals (ISSN 2076-2615). This special issue belongs to the section "Small Ruminants".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 April 2021) | Viewed by 18741

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Emilia Bagnicka
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Institute of Genetics and Animal Biotechnology, Polish Academy of Sciences, 05552 Jastrzebiec, Poland
Interests: dairy cattle; dairy goats; quantitative genetics; molecular genetics; genomics; epigenomics
Dr. Aldona Kawęcka
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
National Research Institute of Animal Production, 1, Krakowska Street, 32-083 Balice near Krakow, Poland
Interests: native sheep; goats; genetic resources; biodiversity; molecular genetics; traditional product quality

Special Issue Information

Sheep and goat breeds are important farm animals that are bred worldwide for meat, milk, wool and skins. Moreover, small ruminants are very important in active protection of valuable natural habitats and management wastelands. Modern tools such as genomics, which allows for improving important functional traits, open new perspectives for small ruminant breeding programs. This field of molecular and theoretical biology makes the assessment of the genetic diversity of sheep and goat breeds possible. SNP microarrays are a new generation of molecular genetic tools that have been applied in population biodiversity analysis; studies of sheep and goat diseases, including mastitis, foot rot and internal parasites; and research into lamb/kid survival and ewe/doe longevity. However, the basic studies in genomic, transcriptomic and proteomic areas are still limited for small ruminants as compared to other farm species. Moreover, studying epigenomic phenomena in small ruminants could help to explain part of the genetic–environmental interaction influencing the phenotypes of these species.

We invite original research papers and review articles on genetic, genomic, transcriptomic, proteomic and epigenomic research regarding sheep and goats; the implementation of genomic selection for production of sheep and goats; the identification of functional traits to improve animal welfare; the conservation of genetic diversity; advances in genetics for animal health monitoring; and research on genetic variability of traits related to milking ability of dairy sheep and goats and the composition and cheese making ability of small ruminants’ milk.

Dr. Emilia Bagnicka
Dr. Aldona Kawęcka
Guest Editors

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Keywords

  • small ruminants
  • genetic diversity
  • genetic parameters
  • genomics
  • transcriptomics
  • proteomics
  • epigenomics
  • health
  • product quality

Published Papers (16 papers)

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Research

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Article
A Comparison of Oxidative Stress Biomarkers in the Serum of Healthy Polish Dairy Goats with Those Naturally Infected with Small Ruminant Lentivirus in the Course of Lactation
Animals 2021, 11(7), 1945; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani11071945 - 29 Jun 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 908
Abstract
The present study examines the effects of natural infection by small ruminant lentivirus (SRLV) in the two most common goat breeds in Poland, i.e., Polish white improved and polish fawn improved. It focuses on biomarkers of oxidative stress, oxidatively modified proteins and antioxidant [...] Read more.
The present study examines the effects of natural infection by small ruminant lentivirus (SRLV) in the two most common goat breeds in Poland, i.e., Polish white improved and polish fawn improved. It focuses on biomarkers of oxidative stress, oxidatively modified proteins and antioxidant defenses, ceruloplasmin level as an acute phase protein, and the activities of antioxidant enzymes in the goat serum. It was conducted on 24 goats divided into two equal groups: one SRLV-seropositive (SRLV-SP) and another SRLV-seronegative (SRLV-SN). Both groups were identical in terms of breed and parity. Despite infection, the SRLV-SP goats demonstrated no symptoms of caprine arthritis-encephalitis. In addition, the SRLV-SP goats did not reveal pronounced dysfunctions in oxidative stress biomarkers in the serum compared to the SRLV-SN animals. However, both groups demonstrated elevated levels of the aldehydic and ketonic derivatives of oxidatively modified proteins during the lactation period. In addition, both groups retained a high total antioxidant capacity in serum despite the decrease of enzyme antioxidant defenses throughout the 200-day lactation period. Full article
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Article
A DNA Regulatory Element Haplotype at Zinc Finger Genes Is Associated with Host Resilience to Small Ruminant Lentivirus in Two Sheep Populations
Animals 2021, 11(7), 1907; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani11071907 - 26 Jun 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1070
Abstract
Small ruminant lentivirus (SRLV) causes Maedi-Visna or Ovine Progressive Pneumonia in sheep and creates insidious livestock production losses. This retrovirus is closely related to human immunodeficiency virus and currently has no vaccines or cure. Genetic marker assisted selection for sheep disease resiliency presents [...] Read more.
Small ruminant lentivirus (SRLV) causes Maedi-Visna or Ovine Progressive Pneumonia in sheep and creates insidious livestock production losses. This retrovirus is closely related to human immunodeficiency virus and currently has no vaccines or cure. Genetic marker assisted selection for sheep disease resiliency presents an attractive management solution. Previously, we identified a region containing a cluster of zinc finger genes that had association with ovine SRLV proviral concentration. Trait-association analysis validated a small insertion/deletion variant near ZNF389 (rs397514112) in multiple sheep breeds. In the current study, 543 sheep from two distinct populations were genotyped at 34 additional variants for fine mapping of the regulatory elements within this locus. Variants were selected based on ChIP-seq annotation data from sheep alveolar macrophages that defined active cis-regulatory elements predicted to influence zinc finger gene expression. We present a haplotype block of variants within regulatory elements that have improved associations and larger effect sizes (up to 4.7-fold genotypic difference in proviral concentration) than the previously validated ZNF389 deletion marker. Hypotheses for the underlying causal mutation or mutations are presented based on changes to in silico transcription factor binding sites. These variants offer alternative markers for selective breeding and are targets for future functional mutation assays. Full article
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Article
Genetic Selection for Resistance to Gastrointestinal Parasitism in Meat Goats and Hair Sheep through a Performance Test with Artificial Infection of Haemonchus contortus
Animals 2021, 11(7), 1902; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani11071902 - 26 Jun 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 976
Abstract
Internal parasitism has been the leading cause of morbidity and mortality in small ruminants in many areas such as the southcentral USA. Among the different approaches and management practices to cope with internal parasitism, genetic selection for internal parasite resistance is recognized as [...] Read more.
Internal parasitism has been the leading cause of morbidity and mortality in small ruminants in many areas such as the southcentral USA. Among the different approaches and management practices to cope with internal parasitism, genetic selection for internal parasite resistance is recognized as one with considerable potential long-term impact. A central performance test with artificial infection of Haemonchus contortus for selection of growing meat goats and hair sheep for breeding to increase resistance to internal parasitism and on-farm selection of females was conducted for 3 years. The results varied considerably among breeds of goats and flocks of sheep. Spanish goats and St. Croix sheep maintained relatively low fecal egg count (FEC) each year, whereas for goats categorized as being of high resistance and Dorper sheep FEC decreased with advancing year. Packed call volume (PCV) and total serum immunoglobulin (Ig) levels were not strongly related to FEC. Genetic parameters varied between the two species, which might be related to previous selection pressure exerted for parasite resistance. Heritability of FEC was higher in goats than sheep. The genetic correlation between FEC and IgM and IgG was negative for both species, which suggests possible genetic association. Genetic and phenotypic correlations between ADG and FEC were nonsignificant for both species. In conclusion, different relationships of FEC and PCV between species require careful attention during selection and the lack of relationship between ADG and FEC suggests that selection of growing male meat goats and hair sheep for resistance to internal parasitism will not adversely affect growth performance. Full article
Article
Does Small Ruminant Lentivirus Infection in Goats Predispose to Bacterial Infection of the Mammary Gland? A Preliminary Study
Animals 2021, 11(7), 1851; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani11071851 - 22 Jun 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 705
Abstract
The aim of this study was to determine whether asymptomatic small ruminant lentivirus seropositive (SRLV-SP) goats were more susceptible to bacterial infection of the udder when lactating by comparing the presence and species of pathogenic bacteria in their milk with the values for [...] Read more.
The aim of this study was to determine whether asymptomatic small ruminant lentivirus seropositive (SRLV-SP) goats were more susceptible to bacterial infection of the udder when lactating by comparing the presence and species of pathogenic bacteria in their milk with the values for seronegative goats (SRLV-SN). Milk samples were collected during morning milking on days 20, 40, 60, 150, and 210 of lactation for three consecutive years and subjected to bacteriological examination. Staphylococcus caprae and S. xylosus were the most frequent strains identified in both SRLV-SP and SRLV-SN goats. The prevalence of pathogenic bacteria was the highest in the 1st lactation, regardless of SRLV status. Moreover, the prevalence of pathogenic bacteria was significantly higher in SRLV-SP goats, but only those in the 5th or further lactation (p = 0.010). This suggests a relationship between long-lasting SRLV infection and susceptibility to bacterial infections of the udder. Full article
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Article
A Candidate Gene Association Study for Economically Important Traits in Czech Dairy Goat Breeds
Animals 2021, 11(6), 1796; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani11061796 - 16 Jun 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 979
Abstract
Milk production is influenced by many factors, including genetic and environmental factors and their interactions. Animal health, especially udder health, is usually evaluated by the number of somatic cells. The present study described the effect of polymorphisms in the ACACA, BTN1A1, [...] Read more.
Milk production is influenced by many factors, including genetic and environmental factors and their interactions. Animal health, especially udder health, is usually evaluated by the number of somatic cells. The present study described the effect of polymorphisms in the ACACA, BTN1A1, LPL, and SCD genes on the daily milk yield, fat, and protein percentages and somatic cell count. In this study, 590 White Shorthaired (WSH) and Brown Shorthaired (BSH) goats were included. SNP genotyping was performed by PCR-RFLP and multiplex PCR followed by SNaPshot minisequencing analysis. The linear mixed model with repeated measurement was used to identify the genetic associations between the studied genes/SNPs and chosen traits. All selected genes were polymorphic in the tested goat populations and showed significant associations with milk traits. Only BTN1A1 (SNP g.599 A > G) showed a significant association with the somatic cell score. After Bonferroni correction, a significant effect of LPL g.300G > A on daily milk yield and fat percentage, LPL g.185G > T on protein percentage, and LPL G50C, SCD EX3_15G > A, and SCD EX3_68A > G on fat percentage was found. The importance of environmental factors, such as the herd-year effect, month of milking, and lactation order on all milk performance indicators was confirmed. Full article
Article
Genome-Wide SNP Analysis for Milk Performance Traits in Indigenous Sheep: A Case Study in the Egyptian Barki Sheep
Animals 2021, 11(6), 1671; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani11061671 - 03 Jun 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1458
Abstract
Sheep milk yield and milk composition traits play an important role in supplying newborn lambs with essential components such as amino acids, energy, vitamins and immune antibodies and are also of interest in terms of the nutritional value of the milk for human [...] Read more.
Sheep milk yield and milk composition traits play an important role in supplying newborn lambs with essential components such as amino acids, energy, vitamins and immune antibodies and are also of interest in terms of the nutritional value of the milk for human consumption. The aim of this study was to identify genomic regions and candidate genes for milk yield and milk composition traits through genome-wide SNP analyses between high and low performing ewes of the Egyptian Barki sheep breed, which is well adapted to the harsh conditions of North-East Africa. Therefore, out of a herd of 111 ewes of the Egyptian Barki sheep breed (IBD = 0.08), ewes representing extremes in milk yield and milk quality traits (n = 25 for each group of animals) were genotyped using the Illumina OvineSNP50 V2 BeadChip. The fixation index (FST) for each SNP was calculated between the diversified groups. FST values were Z-transformed and used to identify putative SNPs for further analysis (Z(FST) > 10). Genome-wide SNP analysis revealed genomic regions covering promising candidate genes related to milk performance traits such as SLC5A8, NUB1, TBC1D1, KLF3 and ABHD5 for milk yield and PPARA and FBLN1 genes for milk quality trait. The results of this study may contribute to the genetic improvement of milk performance traits in Barki sheep breed and to the general understanding of the genetic contribution to variability in milk yield and quality traits. Full article
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Article
Dynamic Expression Profiles of Circular RNAs during Brown to White Adipose Tissue Transformation in Goats (Capra hircus)
Animals 2021, 11(5), 1351; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani11051351 - 10 May 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 919
Abstract
Adipose tissues are mainly divided into brown adipose tissue (BAT) and white adipose tissue (WAT). WAT mainly functions to buffer excess calories, whereas BAT plays a role in the non-shivering thermogenesis to maintain body temperature and energy balance. Moreover, circRNAs play important roles [...] Read more.
Adipose tissues are mainly divided into brown adipose tissue (BAT) and white adipose tissue (WAT). WAT mainly functions to buffer excess calories, whereas BAT plays a role in the non-shivering thermogenesis to maintain body temperature and energy balance. Moreover, circRNAs play important roles in various biological processes. However, knowledge of the expression profile and function of circRNAs from BAT to WAT remains largely unknown. In this study, a total of 6610 unique circRNAs were identified in the perirenal adipose tissues of 1-day, 30-days, and 1-year goats. Functional annotation revealed that host genes of circRNAs were involved in some BAT-related pathways, such as the thyroid hormone signaling pathway, MAPK signaling pathway, and VEGF signaling pathway. Furthermore, a total of 61 DEcircRNAs were detected across three stages. Additionally, five selected circRNAs were validated by RNase R assay, qPCR, and Sanger sequencing. Finally, the circRNA–miRNA network was constructed between the DEcircRNAs and their miRNA binding sites. Full article
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Article
Interspecific ICSI for the Assessment of Sperm DNA Damage: Technology Report
Animals 2021, 11(5), 1250; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani11051250 - 26 Apr 2021
Viewed by 794
Abstract
Xenogenic mammalian sperm heads injected into mouse ovulated oocytes decondense and form pronuclei in which sperm DNA parameters can be evaluated. We suggest that this approach can be used for the assessment of sperm DNA damage level and the evaluation of how certain [...] Read more.
Xenogenic mammalian sperm heads injected into mouse ovulated oocytes decondense and form pronuclei in which sperm DNA parameters can be evaluated. We suggest that this approach can be used for the assessment of sperm DNA damage level and the evaluation of how certain sperm treatments (freezing, lyophilization, etc.) influence the quality of spermatozoa. Full article
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Article
Gene Expression Profile in Peripheral Blood Nuclear Cells of Small Ruminant Lentivirus-Seropositive and Seronegative Dairy Goats in Their First Lactation
Animals 2021, 11(4), 940; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani11040940 - 26 Mar 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 926
Abstract
The immune response to a viral antigen causes inflammatory cell infiltration to the tissue, which creates a suitable environment for the replication of the virus in macrophages, and the recruitment of more monocytes to the site of infection, or latently infected monocytes. The [...] Read more.
The immune response to a viral antigen causes inflammatory cell infiltration to the tissue, which creates a suitable environment for the replication of the virus in macrophages, and the recruitment of more monocytes to the site of infection, or latently infected monocytes. The aim of the study was to analyze the transcriptomic profile of peripheral blood nuclear cells isolated from SRLV-seropositive and SRLV-negative goats at the peak of their first lactation. SRLV-seropositive goats were probably infected via colostrum. Custom transcriptomic microarrays for goats were designed and developed, namely the Capra hircus gene expression array, which features ~50,000 unique transcripts per microarray. Only four genes were differentially expressed, with up-regulated expression of the GIMAP2, SSC5D and SETX genes, and down-regulated expression of the GPR37 gene in SRLV-seropositive vs. SRLV-seronegative goats. However, in an RT-qPCR analysis, the result for the SETX gene was not confirmed. The differences in the expressions of the studied genes indicate an active inflammatory process in the SRLV-seropositive goats at the early stage of infection. Full article
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Article
The Roles of the miRNAome and Transcriptome in the Ovine Ovary Reveal Poor Efficiency in Juvenile Superovulation
Animals 2021, 11(1), 239; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani11010239 - 19 Jan 2021
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1165
Abstract
Juvenile superovulation can provide a wealth of oocyte material for embryo production, animal cloning, and genetic modification research, but embryos derived from juvenile oocytes show poor efficiency in subsequent developmental capacity. In order to reveal the formation mechanism of large numbers of follicles [...] Read more.
Juvenile superovulation can provide a wealth of oocyte material for embryo production, animal cloning, and genetic modification research, but embryos derived from juvenile oocytes show poor efficiency in subsequent developmental capacity. In order to reveal the formation mechanism of large numbers of follicles and poor oocyte quality in juvenile ovaries under superovulation treatment, differentially expressed microRNAs (miRNAs) and messenger RNAs (mRNAs) were characterized and investigated in the ovaries of lambs and adult sheep using high-throughput sequencing technology. The majority of differentially expressed miRNAs (337/358) were upregulated in lamb libraries. The expression levels of mRNAs related to hormone receptors (follicle-stimulating hormone receptor, FSHR; luteinizing hormone/choriogonadotropin receptor, LHCGR; estrogen receptor 1, ESR1), steroid hormone secretion (cytochrome P450 family 11 subfamily A member 1, CYP11A1; cytochrome P450 family 17 subfamily A member 1, CYP17A1; cytochrome P450 family 19 subfamily A member 1, CYP19A1), and oocyte quality (pentraxin 3, PTX3; BCL2 apoptosis regulator, BCL2; caspase 3, CASP3) were significantly different between the lamb and adult libraries. The miRNA aor-miR-143, which targets FSHR, was highly and differentially expressed, and PTX3 was predicted to be targeted by oar-miR-485-3p and oar-miR-377-3p in the ovine ovary. A considerable number of miRNAs were predicted to inhibit ESR1 expression in lamb ovaries. In conclusion, oar-miR-143 and FSHR molecules, among others, might regulate follicle formation, and oar-miR-485-3p, oar-miR-377-3p, and PTX3, among others, may be associated with oocyte quality. These identified miRNAs and mRNAs will be beneficial for the prediction of ovarian superovulation potential and screening of oocytes. Full article
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Article
Exploring the Rumen and Cecum Microbial Community from Fetus to Adulthood in Goat
Animals 2020, 10(9), 1639; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10091639 - 11 Sep 2020
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 1350
Abstract
The present study aimed to investigate the colonization process of epithelial bacteria attached to the rumen and intestinal tract tissue during the development of goats after birth. However, this process from fetus to adulthood was very limited. In goats, the rumen and cecum [...] Read more.
The present study aimed to investigate the colonization process of epithelial bacteria attached to the rumen and intestinal tract tissue during the development of goats after birth. However, this process from fetus to adulthood was very limited. In goats, the rumen and cecum are two important fermentation organs, and it is important to study the acquisition and development of the neonatal microbiome, as well as the difference between these two organs. To characterize the microbial establishment and dynamic changes in the rumen and cecum from fetus to adulthood, we performed 16S rRNA gene sequencing for 106 samples from 47 individuals of nine pregnant mother–fetus pairs and 16 kids from birth up to 6 months. The diversity, structure and composition of the microbial communities were distinct between the rumen and cecum after birth, while they were similar in the fetal period. The study showed a rapid loss and influx of microbes at birth, followed by slight selection after drinking colostrum, and then a strong selection after weaning, suggesting that the establishment and dynamic fluctuations of the gut microbiome undergoes three distinct phases of microbiome progression in life: a conserved phase (during late pregnancy in the fetus), a transitional phase (newborn until weaning), and a stable phase (from weaning to adulthood). The results supported the view that microbes exist in the fetus, and revealed the establishment and dynamic fluctuations of the gut microbiome from fetus to adulthood in goats. Full article
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Article
Using RNA-Seq to Identify Reference Genes of the Transition from Brown to White Adipose Tissue in Goats
Animals 2020, 10(9), 1626; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10091626 - 10 Sep 2020
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 954
Abstract
Brown adipose tissues have unique non-shivering thermogenesis functions, can be found in newborn ruminate animals, and then are gradually replaced by white adipose tissues in adulthood. For the purpose of exploring the intrinsic mechanism underlying the conversion process from brown (BAT) to white [...] Read more.
Brown adipose tissues have unique non-shivering thermogenesis functions, can be found in newborn ruminate animals, and then are gradually replaced by white adipose tissues in adulthood. For the purpose of exploring the intrinsic mechanism underlying the conversion process from brown (BAT) to white adipose tissue (WAT), it is necessary to utilize Quantitative PCR (qPCR) to study gene expression profiling. In this study, we identified reference genes that were consistently expressed during the transformation from goat BAT to WAT using RNA-seq data. Then, twelve genes were evaluated as candidate reference genes for qPCR in goat perirenal adipose tissue using three tools (geNorm, Normfinder, and BestKeeper). In addition, the selected reference genes were used to normalize the gene expression of PGC-1α and GPAT4. It was found that traditional reference genes, such as GAPDH, RPLP0, HPRT1, and PPIA were not suitable for target gene normalization. In contrast, CTNNB, PFDN5, and EIF3M, selected from RNA sequencing data, showed the least variation and were recommended as the best reference genes during the transformation from BAT to WAT. Full article
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Article
Selection Signatures Analysis Reveals Genes Associated with High-Altitude Adaptation in Tibetan Goats from Nagqu, Tibet
Animals 2020, 10(9), 1599; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10091599 - 08 Sep 2020
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 1091
Abstract
Tibetan goat is an ancient breed, which inhabits the adverse conditions of the plateaus in China. To investigate the role of selection in shaping its genomes, we genotyped Tibetan goats (Nagqu Prefecture, above 4500 m) and three lowland populations (Xinjiang goats, Taihang goats [...] Read more.
Tibetan goat is an ancient breed, which inhabits the adverse conditions of the plateaus in China. To investigate the role of selection in shaping its genomes, we genotyped Tibetan goats (Nagqu Prefecture, above 4500 m) and three lowland populations (Xinjiang goats, Taihang goats and Huanghuai goats). The result of PCA, neighbor-joining (N-J) tree and model-based clustering showed that the genetic structure between the Tibetan goat and the three lowland populations has significant difference. As demonstrated by the di statistic, we found that some genes were related to the high-altitude adaptation of Tibetan goats. Functional analysis revealed that these genes were enriched in the VEGF (vascular endothelial growth factor) signaling pathway and melanoma, suggesting that nine genes (FGF2, EGFR, AKT1, PTEN, MITF, ENPEP, SIRT6, KDR, and CDC42) might have important roles in the high-altitude adaptation of Nagqu Tibetan goats. We also found that the LEPR gene was under the strongest selection (di value = 16.70), and it could induce upregulation of the hypoxic ventilatory response. In addition, five genes (LEPR, LDB1, EGFR, NOX4 and FGF2) with high di values were analyzed using q-PCR. Among them, we found that LEPR, LDB1 and FGF2 exhibited higher expression in the lungs of the Tibetan goats; LEPR, EGFR and LDB1 exhibited higher expression in the hearts of the Huanghuai goat. Our results suggest that LEPR, LDB1, EGFR and FGF2 genes may be related to the high-altitude adaptation of the goats. These findings improve our understanding of the selection of the high-altitude adaptability of the Nagqu Tibetan goats and provide new theoretical knowledge for the conservation and utilization of germplasm resources. Full article
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Article
Cultivation of Hair Matrix Cells from Cashmere Goat Skins and Exemplified Applications
Animals 2020, 10(8), 1400; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10081400 - 12 Aug 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1075
Abstract
A functional interpretation of filtered candidates and predicted regulatory pathways related to cashmere growth from sequencing trials needs available cell models, especially for hair matrix cells (HMCs), whose continual proliferation and differentiation result in rapid hair growth. To fulfill such goals, we herein [...] Read more.
A functional interpretation of filtered candidates and predicted regulatory pathways related to cashmere growth from sequencing trials needs available cell models, especially for hair matrix cells (HMCs), whose continual proliferation and differentiation result in rapid hair growth. To fulfill such goals, we herein obtained primary goat HMCs via a microdissection-based method; optimized the selection of the culture medium and coating substances for better cell maintenance; and exemplified their usefulness through examining the effects of calcium and all-trans retinoic acid (ATRA) on cells using immunoblotting, flow cytometry, and other techniques. As a result, we successfully acquired primary and passaged goat HMCs with typical keratinocyte morphology. Calcium-free RPMI (Roswell Park Memorial Institute) 1640 and MEM (minimum Eagle’s medium) outperformed normal DMEM/F12 (Dulbecco’s modified Eagle’s medium/Nutrient Mixture F-12) on long-term cell maintenance, whereas serum-free media K-SFM and EpiLife failed to support cell growth. HMCs differed molecularly and morphologically from their neighbor dermal papilla cells on expressions of feature genes, such as HOXC13, and on characteristic keratinocyte-like appearances versus fibroblast shapes, respectively. Higher calcium concentrations significantly stimulated the expression of the genes (e.g., KRT1 and IVL) involved in keratinocyte differentiation and, promoted cell proliferation. Moreover, 10−5 M ATRA obviously boosted goat HMC expansions and changed their cell cycle distributions compared to the controls. Our study shines a light on researches exploring the mechanisms underlying the growth of cashmere. Full article
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Article
Association between Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms in SIRT1 and SIRT2 Loci and Growth in Tibetan Sheep
Animals 2020, 10(8), 1362; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10081362 - 06 Aug 2020
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 1087
Abstract
Silent information regulator 1 and 2 (SIRT1, 2) were NAD+-dependent histone or non-histone deacetylase, which emerged as key metabolic sensors in several tissues of mammals. In the present study, the search for polymorphisms within the ovine SIRT1 and SIRT2 loci as [...] Read more.
Silent information regulator 1 and 2 (SIRT1, 2) were NAD+-dependent histone or non-histone deacetylase, which emerged as key metabolic sensors in several tissues of mammals. In the present study, the search for polymorphisms within the ovine SIRT1 and SIRT2 loci as well as association analyses between SNPs and growth-related traits were performed in Tibetan sheep. To determine the expression pattern of SIRT1 and SIRT2 genes in Tibetan sheep, the quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) analysis revealed that those two genes were widely expressed in diverse tissues. Expression of SIRT1 was less in abomasum of lamb, whereas it was greater in duodenum within adult stage. In the case of SIRT2, the greatest expression was observed in reticulum (lamb) and in muscle (adult), whereas the least expression was in liver for lamb and in kidney for adult animals. The association analysis demonstrated that g.3148 C > T polymorphism of SIRT1 affected heart girth (p = 0.002). The g.8074 T > A SNP of SIRT2 had a significant correlation with body weight (p = 0.011) and body length (p = 0.008). These findings suggested that the SIRT1 and SIRT2 polymorphism was involved in growth-related traits in Tibetan sheep, which may be considered to be genetic markers for improving the growth traits of Tibetan sheep. Full article
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Review

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Review
British Sheep Breeds as a Part of World Sheep Gene Pool Landscape: Looking into Genomic Applications
Animals 2021, 11(4), 994; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani11040994 - 01 Apr 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1345
Abstract
Sheep farming has been an important sector of the UK’s economy and rural life for many centuries. It is the favored source of wool, meat and milk products. In the era of exponential progress in genomic technologies, we can now address the questions [...] Read more.
Sheep farming has been an important sector of the UK’s economy and rural life for many centuries. It is the favored source of wool, meat and milk products. In the era of exponential progress in genomic technologies, we can now address the questions of what is special about UK sheep breed genotypes and how they differ genetically form one another and from other countries. We can reflect how their natural history has been determined at the level of their genetic code and what traces have been left in their genomes because of selection for phenotypic traits. These include adaptability to certain environmental conditions and management, as well as resistance to disease. Application of these advancements in genetics and genomics to study sheep breeds of British domestic selection has begun and will continue in order to facilitate conservation solutions and production improvement. Full article
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