Multi-tissue omics analyses reveal molecular regulatory networks for puberty in composite beef cattle.

PLoS ONE. 2014;9(7):e102551 DOI 10.1371/journal.pone.0102551

 

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Journal Title: PLoS ONE

ISSN: 1932-6203 (Online)

Publisher: Public Library of Science (PLoS)

LCC Subject Category: Medicine | Science

Country of publisher: United States

Language of fulltext: English

Full-text formats available: PDF, HTML, XML

 

AUTHORS

Angela Cánovas
Antonio Reverter
Kasey L DeAtley
Ryan L Ashley
Michelle L Colgrave
Marina R S Fortes
Alma Islas-Trejo
Sigrid Lehnert
Laercio Porto-Neto
Gonzalo Rincón
Gail A Silver
Warren M Snelling
Juan F Medrano
Milton G Thomas

EDITORIAL INFORMATION

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Time From Submission to Publication: 24 weeks

 

Abstract | Full Text

Puberty is a complex physiological event by which animals mature into an adult capable of sexual reproduction. In order to enhance our understanding of the genes and regulatory pathways and networks involved in puberty, we characterized the transcriptome of five reproductive tissues (i.e. hypothalamus, pituitary gland, ovary, uterus, and endometrium) as well as tissues known to be relevant to growth and metabolism needed to achieve puberty (i.e., longissimus dorsi muscle, adipose, and liver). These tissues were collected from pre- and post-pubertal Brangus heifers (3/8 Brahman; Bos indicus x 5/8 Angus; Bos taurus) derived from a population of cattle used to identify quantitative trait loci associated with fertility traits (i.e., age of first observed corpus luteum (ACL), first service conception (FSC), and heifer pregnancy (HPG)). In order to exploit the power of complementary omics analyses, pre- and post-puberty co-expression gene networks were constructed by combining the results from genome-wide association studies (GWAS), RNA-Seq, and bovine transcription factors. Eight tissues among pre-pubertal and post-pubertal Brangus heifers revealed 1,515 differentially expressed and 943 tissue-specific genes within the 17,832 genes confirmed by RNA-Seq analysis. The hypothalamus experienced the most notable up-regulation of genes via puberty (i.e., 204 out of 275 genes). Combining the results of GWAS and RNA-Seq, we identified 25 loci containing a single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) associated with ACL, FSC, and (or) HPG. Seventeen of these SNP were within a gene and 13 of the genes were expressed in uterus or endometrium. Multi-tissue omics analyses revealed 2,450 co-expressed genes relative to puberty. The pre-pubertal network had 372,861 connections whereas the post-pubertal network had 328,357 connections. A sub-network from this process revealed key transcriptional regulators (i.e., PITX2, FOXA1, DACH2, PROP1, SIX6, etc.). Results from these multi-tissue omics analyses improve understanding of the number of genes and their complex interactions for puberty in cattle.