Special Issue "Genetics and Genomics Applied to Livestock Production"

A special issue of Genes (ISSN 2073-4425). This special issue belongs to the section "Animal Genetics and Genomics".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 23 July 2020.

Special Issue Editor

Dr. Marina Fortes
Website
Guest Editor
School of Chemistry and Molecular Biosciences,The University of Queensland, St Lucia, Qld 4072, Australia
Interests: genomics; cattle industries; livestock science; animal genetics; biology of reproduction

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Genetics and genomics applied to livestock has transformed animal production in the past decades. Still, there is a lot of work ahead. The demand for animal products is rising with a growing global population. At the same time, livestock industries face the challenges imposed by climate change. The environmental footprint of livestock production is of great concern. In the near future, livestock systems will have to produce more while mitigating its impact. A more efficient industry, in terms of water use, nitrogen fixation, and off-setting greenhouse gas emissions has a future. Some animals are naturally more efficient than others, due to favourable genetics. For example, some cows emit less methane than others. Understanding the heritability, the molecular mechanisms and how to manipulate the genome to create the most efficient livestock species will benefit us all. This Special Issue in genes on “Genetics and Genomics Applied to Livestock Production” will highlight how genomics technologies are paving the way to improve livestock systems, address environmental and animal welfare concerns. The Issue will provide an overview of recent developments in this field of research, including critical perspectives on current and upcoming challenges.

Dr. Marina Fortes
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Genes is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1800 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • livestock genomics
  • methane emissions
  • environmental footprint
  • carbon neutral animal products
  • heat tolerance and animal welfare

Published Papers (4 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle
Novel Variants in GDF9 Gene Affect Promoter Activity and Litter Size in Mongolia Sheep
Genes 2020, 11(4), 375; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes11040375 - 30 Mar 2020
Abstract
Litter size is an economically important trait in sheep breeding. The objectives of this study were as follows: (1) to ascertain if any of the 19 known variants in the BMPRIB, BMP15, and GDF9 genes are present and associated with the [...] Read more.
Litter size is an economically important trait in sheep breeding. The objectives of this study were as follows: (1) to ascertain if any of the 19 known variants in the BMPRIB, BMP15, and GDF9 genes are present and associated with the litter size of Mongolia sheep; (2) to identify novel variants in GDF9 and perform association analysis; and (3) to validate the effects of these GDF9 promoter variants on the activity of the gene. The results of the 19 known variants showed that the FecBB affected the litter size of Mongolia sheep (p < 0.001). The association analysis results of novel variants showed that the g.46544883A>G (GenBank accession: NC_040256, the same below) in the 3’ untranslated region (3’ UTR), the c.1040T>C (Phe347Ser) in the exon 2, and the g.46547859C>T SNP in the promotor of GDF9 were significantly associated with litter size of Mongolia ewes (p < 0.01, p < 0.05, and p < 0.001, respectively). In addition, the GDF9 promoter activity analysis showed that the C allele at the -332 position (g.46547859C>T) could decrease luciferase activity compared with the T allele (p < 0.01). Our findings may facilitate effective marker-assisted selection to increase litter size in Mongolia sheep populations, as well as bring new insights into GDF9 expression. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Genetics and Genomics Applied to Livestock Production)
Open AccessArticle
Analysis of Long Noncoding RNA and mRNA Expression Profiles of Testes with High and Low Sperm Motility in Domestic Pigeons (Columba livia)
Genes 2020, 11(4), 349; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes11040349 - 25 Mar 2020
Abstract
Sperm motility is one of the most important indicators in assessing semen quality, and it is used to evaluate poultry fertility. Many long noncoding RNAs (lncRNAs) and mRNAs are involved in regulating testis development and spermatogenesis. In this study, we employed RNA sequencing [...] Read more.
Sperm motility is one of the most important indicators in assessing semen quality, and it is used to evaluate poultry fertility. Many long noncoding RNAs (lncRNAs) and mRNAs are involved in regulating testis development and spermatogenesis. In this study, we employed RNA sequencing to analyse the testis transcriptome (lncRNA and mRNA) of ten pigeons with high and low sperm motility. In total, 46,117 mRNAs and 17,463 lncRNAs were identified, of which 2673 mRNAs and 229 lncRNAs (P < 0.05) were significantly differentially expressed (DE) between the high and low sperm motility groups. Gene ontology (GO) and Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes (KEGG) annotation analysis showed that target genes of DE lncRNAs and DE mRNAs were related to calcium ion binding, ATP binding, and spermatogenesis. Moreover, we found that UBB, a target gene of lncRNA MSTRG.7787.5, was involved in germ cell development. Our study provided a catalogue of lncRNAs and mRNAs associated with sperm motility, and they deserve further study to deepen the understanding of biological processes in the pigeon testis. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Genetics and Genomics Applied to Livestock Production)
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Open AccessArticle
Weighted Single-Step Genome-Wide Association Study for Growth Traits in Chinese Simmental Beef Cattle
Genes 2020, 11(2), 189; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes11020189 - 11 Feb 2020
Abstract
Improving the genetic process of growth traits is one of the major goals in the beef cattle industry, as it can increase meat production and reduce the cost of raising animals. Although several quantitative trait loci affecting growth traits in beef cattle have [...] Read more.
Improving the genetic process of growth traits is one of the major goals in the beef cattle industry, as it can increase meat production and reduce the cost of raising animals. Although several quantitative trait loci affecting growth traits in beef cattle have been identified, the genetic architecture of these economically important traits remains elusive. This study aims to map single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) and genes associated with birth weight (BW), yearling weight (YW), average daily gain from birth to yearling (BYADG), and body weight at the age of 18 months (18MW) in a Chinese Simmental beef cattle population using a weighted, single-step, genome-wide association study (wssGWAS). Phenotypic and pedigree data from 6022 animals and genotypes from 744 animals (596,297 SNPs) were used for an association analysis. The results showed that 66 genomic windows explained 1.01–20.15% of the genetic variance for the four examined traits, together with the genes near the top SNP within each window. Furthermore, the identified genomic windows (>1%) explained 50.56%, 57.71%, 61.78%, and 37.82% of the genetic variances for BW, YW, BYADG, and 18MW, respectively. Genes with potential functions in muscle development and regulation of cell growth were highlighted as candidates for growth traits in Simmental cattle (SQOR and TBCB for BW, MYH10 for YW, RLF for BYADG, and ARHGAP31 for 18MW). Moreover, we found 40 SNPs that had not previously been identified as being associated with growth traits in cattle. These findings will further advance our understanding of the genetic basis for growth traits and will be useful for the molecular breeding of BW, YW, BYADG, and 18MW in the context of genomic selection in beef cattle. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Genetics and Genomics Applied to Livestock Production)
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Open AccessArticle
Mitochondrial DNA Haplotypes Influence Energy Metabolism across Chicken Transmitochondrial Cybrids
Genes 2020, 11(1), 100; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes11010100 - 16 Jan 2020
Abstract
The association between mitochondrial DNA haplotype and productive performances has been widely reported in chicken breeds. However, there has not been physiological evidence of this seen previously. In this study, chicken transmitochondrial cells were generated using the nucleus of the DF-1 cell line [...] Read more.
The association between mitochondrial DNA haplotype and productive performances has been widely reported in chicken breeds. However, there has not been physiological evidence of this seen previously. In this study, chicken transmitochondrial cells were generated using the nucleus of the DF-1 cell line and mitochondria of primary cell lines derived from two native chicken breeds, Tibetan chicken and Shouguang chicken. Generally, Tibetan chicken primary cells showed a stronger metabolic capacity than Shouguang chicken primary cells. However, the Tibetan chicken cybrids had a dramatic drop in relative mtDNA copies and oxygen consumption. Higher rates of oxygen consumption (OCR) and expression levels of mitochondrial biogenesis and fusion genes were observed in Shouguang chicken cybrids, potentially reflecting that the mitochondrial DNA haplotype of Shouguang chicken had better coordination with the DF-1 nucleus than others. Meanwhile, mitonuclear incompatibility occurred in Tibetan chicken cybrids. The results demonstrate functional differences among mitochondrial DNA haplotypes and may shed light on the interaction between the mitochondria and nucleus in Gallus gallus domesticus. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Genetics and Genomics Applied to Livestock Production)
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