Linyuan Shen, Jia Luo, Jingjing Du, Chendong Liu, Xiaoqian Wu, Qiang Pu, Yuhua Fu, Qianzi Tang, Yuanrui Liu, Qiang Li, Runlin Yang, Xuewei Li, Guoqing Tang, Yanzhi Jiang, Mingzhou Li, Shunhua Zhang, Li Zhu
||PLoS ONE, 2017, Vol.10 (8)
||Directory of Open Access Journals
Animal growth curves can provide essential information for animal breeders to optimize feeding and management strategies. However, the genetic mechanism underlying the phenotypic differentiation between the inflection point and asymptotic stages of the growth curve is not well characterized. Here, we employed Liangshan pigs in stages of growth at the inflection point (under inflection point: UIP) and the two asymptotic stages (before the inflection point: BIP, after the inflection point: AIP) as models to survey global gene expression in the longissimus dorsi muscle using digital gene expression (DGE) tag profiling. We found Liangshan pigs reached maximum growth rate (UIP) at 163.6 days of age and a weight of 134.6 kg. The DGE libraries generated 117 million reads of 5.89 gigabases in... length. 21,331, 20,996 and 20,139 expressed transcripts were identified BIP, UIP and AIP, respectively. Among them, we identified 757 differentially expressed genes (DEGs) between BIP and UIP, and 271 DEGs between AIP and UIP. An enrichment analysis of DEGs proved the immune system was strengthened in the AIP stage. Energy metabolism rate, global transcriptional activity and bone development intensity were highest UIP. Meat from Liangshan pigs had the highest intramuscular fat content and most favorable fatty acid composition in the AIP. Three hundred eighty (27.70%) specific expression genes were highly enriched in QTL regions for growth and meat quality traits. This study completed a comprehensive analysis of diverse genetic mechanisms underlying the inflection point and asymptotic stages of growth. Our findings will serve as an important resource in the understanding of animal growth and development in indigenous pig breeds.