[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The domestic pig (Sus scrofa) is both an important livestock species and a model for biomedical research. Exome sequencing has accelerated identification of protein-coding variants underlying phenotypic traits in human and mouse. We aimed to develop and validate a similar resource for the pig.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Sheep (Ovis aries) are a major source of meat, milk, and fiber in the form of wool and represent a distinct class of animals that have a specialized digestive organ, the rumen, that carries out the initial digestion of plant material. We have developed and analyzed a high-quality reference sheep genome and transcriptomes from 40 different tissues. We identified highly expressed genes encoding keratin cross-linking proteins associated with rumen evolution. We also identified genes involved in lipid metabolism that had been amplified and/or had altered tissue expression patterns. This may be in response to changes in the barrier lipids of the skin, an interaction between lipid metabolism and wool synthesis, and an increased role of volatile fatty acids in ruminants compared with nonruminant animals.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Boar taint is an offensive urine or faecal-like odour, affecting the smell and taste of cooked pork from some mature non-castrated male pigs. Androstenone and skatole in fat are the molecules responsible. In most pig production systems, males, which are not required for breeding, are castrated shortly after birth to reduce the risk of boar taint. There is evidence for genetic variation in the predisposition to boar taint.A genome-wide association study (GWAS) was performed to identify loci with effects on boar taint. Five hundred Danish Landrace boars with high levels of skatole in fat (>0.3 mug/g), were each matched with a litter mate with low levels of skatole and measured for androstenone. DNA from these 1,000 non-castrated boars was genotyped using the Illumina PorcineSNP60 Beadchip. After quality control, tests for SNPs associated with boar taint were performed on 938 phenotyped individuals and 44,648 SNPs. Empirical significance thresholds were set by permutation (100,000). For androstenone, a 'regional heritability approach' combining information from multiple SNPs was used to estimate the genetic variation attributable to individual autosomes.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Lawsonia intracellularis is an obligate intracellular bacterium, responsible for the disease complex known as proliferative enteropathy (PE). L. intracellularis is associated with intestinal crypt epithelial cell proliferation but the mechanisms responsible are yet to be defined. Microarray analysis was used to investigate the host-pathogen interaction in experimentally infected pigs to identify pathways that may be involved. Ileal samples originating from twenty-eight weaner pigs experimentally challenged with a pure culture of L. intracellularis (strain LR189/5/83) were subjected to microarray analysis. Microarray transcriptional signatures were validated using immunohistochemistry and quantitative real time PCR of selected genes at various time points post challenge. At peak of infection (14 days post challenge) 86% of altered transcripts were down regulated, particularly those involved in maintenance of mucosal integrity and regulation of cell transport. Among the up-regulated transcripts, CD163 and CDK1 were novel findings and considered to be important, due to their respective roles in innate immunity and cellular proliferation. Overall, targeted cellular mechanisms included those that are important in epithelial restitution, migration and protection; maintenance of stable inter-epithelial cell relationships; cell transport of nutrients and electrolytes; innate immunity; and cell cycle.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Porcine Reproductive and Respiratory Syndrome (PRRS) is a disease of major economic impact worldwide. The etiologic agent of this disease is the PRRS virus (PRRSV). Increasing evidence suggest that microevolution within a coexisting quasispecies population can give rise to high sequence heterogeneity in PRRSV.
We developed a pipeline based on the ultra-deep next generation sequencing approach to first construct the complete genome of a European PRRSV, strain Olot/9, cultured on macrophages and then capture the rare variants representative of the mixed quasispecies population. Olot/91 differs from the reference Lelystad strain by about 5% and a total of 88 variants, with frequencies as low as 1%, were detected in the mixed population. These variants included 16 non-synonymous variants concentrated in the genes encoding structural and nonstructural proteins; including Glycoprotein 2a and 5.
Using an ultra-deep sequencing methodology, the complete genome of Olot/91 was constructed without any prior knowledge of the sequence. Rare variants that constitute minor fractions of the heterogeneous PRRSV population could successfully be detected to allow further exploration of microevolutionary events.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Female reproductive performance traits in pigs have low heritabilities thus limiting improvement through traditional selective breeding programmes. However, there is substantial genetic variation found between pig breeds with the Chinese Meishan being one of the most prolific pig breeds known. In this study, three cohorts of Large White × Meishan F2 cross-bred pigs were analysed to identify quantitative trait loci (QTL) with effects on reproductive traits, including ovulation rate, teat number, litter size, total born alive and prenatal survival. A total of 307 individuals were genotyped for 174 genetic markers across the genome. The genome-wide analysis of the trait-recorded F2 gilts in their first parity/litter revealed one QTL for teat number significant at the genome level and a total of 12 QTL, which are significant at the chromosome-wide level, for: litter size (three QTL), total born alive (two QTL), ovulation rate (four QTL), prenatal survival (one QTL) and teat number (two QTL). Further support for eight of these QTL is provided by results from other studies. Four of these 12 QTL were mapped for the first time in this study: on SSC15 for ovulation rate and on SSC18 for teat number, ovulation rate and litter size.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Dense single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) genotyping arrays provide extensive information on polymorphic variation across the genome of species of interest. Such information can be used in studies of the genetic architecture of quantitative traits and to improve the accuracy of selection in breeding programs. In Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar), these goals are currently hampered by the lack of a high-density SNP genotyping platform. Therefore, the aim of the study was to develop and test a dense Atlantic salmon SNP array.
SNP discovery was performed using extensive deep sequencing of Reduced Representation (RR-Seq), Restriction site-Associated DNA (RAD-Seq) and mRNA (RNA-Seq) libraries derived from farmed and wild Atlantic salmon samples (n = 283) resulting in the discovery of > 400 K putative SNPs. An Affymetrix Axiom® myDesign Custom Array was created and tested on samples of animals of wild and farmed origin (n = 96) revealing a total of 132,033 polymorphic SNPs with high call rate, good cluster separation on the array and stable Mendelian inheritance in our sample. At least 38% of these SNPs are from transcribed genomic regions and therefore more likely to include functional variants. Linkage analysis utilising the lack of male recombination in salmonids allowed the mapping of 40,214 SNPs distributed across all 29 pairs of chromosomes, highlighting the extensive genome-wide coverage of the SNPs. An identity-by-state clustering analysis revealed that the array can clearly distinguish between fish of different origins, within and between farmed and wild populations. Finally, Y-chromosome-specific probes included on the array provide an accurate molecular genetic test for sex.
This manuscript describes the first high-density SNP genotyping array for Atlantic salmon. This array will be publicly available and is likely to be used as a platform for high-resolution genetics research into traits of evolutionary and economic importance in salmonids and in aquaculture breeding programs via genomic selection.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Elucidating the process of speciation requires an in-depth understanding of the evolutionary history of the species in question. Studies that rely upon a limited number of genetic loci do not always reveal actual evolutionary history, and often confuse inferences related to phylogeny and speciation. Whole-genome data, however, can overcome this issue by providing a nearly unbiased window into the patterns and processes of speciation. In order to reveal the complexity of the speciation process, we sequenced and analyzed the genomes of 10 wild pigs, representing morphologically or geographically well-defined species and subspecies of the genus Sus from insular and mainland Southeast Asia, and one African common warthog.
Our data highlight the importance of past cyclical climatic fluctuations in facilitating the dispersal and isolation of populations, thus leading to the diversification of suids in one of the most species-rich regions of the world. Moreover, admixture analyses revealed extensive, intra- and inter-specific gene-flow that explains previous conflicting results obtained from a limited number of loci. We show that these multiple episodes of gene-flow resulted from both natural and human-mediated dispersal.
Our results demonstrate the importance of past climatic fluctuations and human mediated translocations in driving and complicating the process of speciation in island Southeast Asia. This case study demonstrates that genomics is a powerful tool to decipher the evolutionary history of a genus, and reveals the complexity of the process of speciation.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The draft genome of the domestic pig (Sus scrofa) has recently been published permitting refined analysis of the transcriptome. Pig breeds have been reported to differ in their resistance to infectious disease. In this study we examine whether there are corresponding differences in gene expression in innate immune cells RESULTS: We demonstrate that macrophages can be harvested from three different compartments of the pig (lungs, blood and bone-marrow), cryopreserved and subsequently recovered and differentiated in CSF-1. We have performed surface marker analysis and gene expression profiling on macrophages from these compartments, comparing twenty-five animals from five different breeds and their response to lipopolysaccharide. The results provide a clear distinction between alveolar macrophages (AM) and monocyte-derived (MDM) and bone-marrow-derived macrophages (BMDM). In particular, the lung macrophages express the growth factor, FLT1 and its ligand, VEGFA at high levels, suggesting a distinct pathway of growth regulation. Relatively few genes showed breed-specific differential expression, notably CXCR2 and CD302 in alveolar macrophages. In contrast, there was substantial inter-individual variation between pigs within breeds, mostly affecting genes annotated as being involved in immune responses.
Pig macrophages more closely resemble human, than mouse, in their set of macrophage-expressed and LPS-inducible genes. Future research will address whether inter-individual variation in macrophage gene expression is heritable, and might form the basis for selective breeding for disease resistance.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background
The process of speciation is fundamental to evolutionary biology but remains poorly understood. Confusion can arise because the conclusions of studies that rely upon a limited number of genetic loci may not reflect the true evolutionary history of the species. Whole-genome data, however, can overcome this issue by providing an unbiased window into the patterns and processes of speciation. In order to reveal the complexity of the speciation process, we sequenced and analysed the genomes of 10 wild pigs, representing five morphologically and/or geographically well-defined species of the genus Sus from insular and mainland Southeast Asia, and one African common warthog.
Our data highlight the importance of past cyclical climatic fluctuations in facilitating the dispersal and isolation of populations, thus leading to the diversification of suids in one of the most species-rich regions of the world. Moreover, admixture analyses revealed extensive, intra- and inter-specific gene flow thus reconciling previous conflicting results obtained from a limited number of loci. We show that these multiple events of reticulation involved both natural and human mediated dispersal.
Our results demonstrate the importance of past climatic fluctuations and human mediated translocations in driving and reversing the speciation process in island Southeast Asia. This case study demonstrates that genomics is a powerful tool to decipher the evolutionary history of a genus, and reveals the complexity of the process of speciation.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: The domestic pig is known as an excellent model for human immunology and the two species share many pathogens. Susceptibility to infectious disease is one of the major constraints on swine performance, yet the structure and function of genes comprising the pig immunome are not well-characterized. The completion of the pig genome provides the opportunity to annotate the pig immunome, and compare and contrast pig and human immune systems. RESULTS: The Immune Response Annotation Group (IRAG) used computational curation and manual annotation of the swine genome assembly 10.2 (Sscrofa10.2) to refine the currently available automated annotation of 1,369 immunity-related genes through sequence-based comparison to genes in other species. Within these genes, we annotated 3,472 transcripts. Annotation provided evidence for gene expansions in several immune response families, and identified artiodactyl-specific expansions in the cathelicidin and type 1 Interferon families. We found gene duplications for 18 genes, including 13 immune response genes and five non-immune response genes discovered in the annotation process. Manual annotation provided evidence for many new alternative splice variants and 8 gene duplications. Over 1,100 transcripts without porcine sequence evidence were detected using cross-species annotation. We used a functional approach to discover and accurately annotate porcine immune response genes. A co-expression clustering analysis of transcriptomic data from selected experimental infections or immune stimulations of blood, macrophages or lymph nodes identified a large cluster of genes that exhibited a correlated positive response upon infection across multiple pathogens or immune stimuli. Interestingly, this gene cluster (cluster 4) is enriched for known general human immune response genes, yet contains many un-annotated porcine genes. A phylogenetic analysis of the encoded proteins of cluster 4 genes showed that 15% exhibited an accelerated evolution as compared to 4.1% across the entire genome. CONCLUSIONS: This extensive annotation dramatically extends the genome-based knowledge of the molecular genetics and structure of a major portion of the porcine immunome. Our complementary functional approach using co-expression during immune response has provided new putative immune response annotation for over 500 porcine genes. Our phylogenetic analysis of this core immunome cluster confirms rapid evolutionary change in this set of genes, and that, as in other species, such genes are important components of the pig's adaptation to pathogen challenge over evolutionary time. These comprehensive and integrated analyses increase the value of the porcine genome sequence and provide important tools for global analyses and data-mining of the porcine immune response.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Human and mouse monocyte can be divided into two different subpopulations based on surface marker expression: CD14/16 and Ly6C/CX3CR1, respectively. Monocyte subpopulations in the pig were identified based on reciprocal expression of CD14 and the scavenger receptor CD163. The two populations, CD14(hi)-CD163(low) and CD14(low)-CD163(hi), show approximately equal abundance in the steady-state. Culture of pig PBMCs in CSF1 indicates that the two populations are a maturation series controlled by this growth factor. Gene expression in pig monocyte subpopulations was profiled using the newly developed and annotated pig whole genome snowball microarray. Previous studies have suggested a functional equivalence between human and mouse subsets, but certain genes such as CD36, CLEC4E, or TREM-1 showed human-specific expression. The same genes were expressed selectively in pig monocyte subsets. However, the profiles suggest that the pig CD14(low)-CD163(high) cells are actually equivalent to intermediate human monocytes, and there is no CD14(-) CD16(+) "nonclassical" population. The results are discussed in terms of the relevance of the pig as a model for understanding human monocyte function.
The Journal of Immunology 05/2013; · 5.52 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Increased litter size and within-litter uniformity in birth weight would improve pig reproductive efficiency. This study compared the location and gene and protein expression of secreted phosphoprotein 1 in placental and uterine tissues supplying a normally-sized and the smallest fetus carried by Hyperprolific Large White and Meishan gilts on Days 41-42 of pregnancy. Immunohistochemistry and in situ hybridization showed that the protein and gene encoding secreted phosphoprotein 1 were located in the glandular and luminal epithelium of the endometrium and in the placenta. Secreted phosphoprotein 1 protein levels were higher in glandular epithelium, luminal epithelium and placenta from Meishan gilts compared to corresponding tissues from Hyperprolific Large White gilts. Reverse transcription quantitative PCR demonstrated secreted phosphoprotein 1 mRNA levels were higher in endometrium, but not placenta, from Meishan compared to Hyperprolific Large White gilts. In Hyperprolific Large White gilts secreted phosphoprotein 1 protein levels were higher in glandular epithelium and placenta surrounding small fetuses than corresponding tissues supplying normal-sized fetuses. Similarly, in Meishan gilts secreted phosphoprotein 1 protein levels were higher in luminal epithelium surrounding small compared to normal-sized fetuses. Within Hyperprolific Large White, but not Meishan, gilts secreted phosphoprotein 1 mRNA was higher in endometrium surrounding the normal-sized fetus than the control fetus. The contradictory relationship between fetal size and secreted phosphoprotein 1 protein and mRNA in the Hyperprolific Large White is intriguing and may reflect breed differences in post-translational modification. The striking breed differences in secreted phospoprotein 1 expression, suggest that SPP1 may be associated with placental efficiency.
Biology of Reproduction 04/2013; · 4.03 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Following domestication, livestock breeds have experienced intense selection pressures for the development of desirable traits. This has resulted in a large diversity of breeds that display variation in many phenotypic traits, such as coat colour, muscle composition, early maturity, growth rate, body size, reproduction, and behaviour. To better understand the relationship between genomic composition and phenotypic diversity arising from breed development, the genomes of 13 traditional and commercial European pig breeds were scanned for signatures of diversifying selection using the Porcine60K SNP chip, applying a between-population (differentiation) approach. Signatures of diversifying selection between breeds were found in genomic regions associated with traits related to breed standard criteria, such as coat colour and ear morphology. Amino acid differences in the EDNRB gene appear to be associated with one of these signatures, and variation in the KITLG gene may be associated with another. Other selection signals were found in genomic regions including QTLs and genes associated with production traits such as reproduction, growth, and fat deposition. Some selection signatures were associated with regions showing evidence of introgression from Asian breeds. When the European breeds were compared with wild boar, genomic regions with high levels of differentiation harboured genes related to bone formation, growth, and fat deposition.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Domestication of wild boar (Sus scrofa) and subsequent selection have resulted in dramatic phenotypic changes in domestic pigs for a number of traits, including behavior, body composition, reproduction, and coat color. Here we have used whole-genome resequencing to reveal some of the loci that underlie phenotypic evolution in European domestic pigs. Selective sweep analyses revealed strong signatures of selection at three loci harboring quantitative trait loci that explain a considerable part of one of the most characteristic morphological changes in the domestic pig-the elongation of the back and an increased number of vertebrae. The three loci were associated with the NR6A1, PLAG1, and LCORL genes. The latter two have repeatedly been associated with loci controlling stature in other domestic animals and in humans. Most European domestic pigs are homozygous for the same haplotype at these three loci. We found an excess of derived nonsynonymous substitutions in domestic pigs, most likely reflecting both positive selection and relaxed purifying selection after domestication. Our analysis of structural variation revealed four duplications at the KIT locus that were exclusively present in white or white-spotted pigs, carrying the Dominant white, Patch, or Belt alleles. This discovery illustrates how structural changes have contributed to rapid phenotypic evolution in domestic animals and how alleles in domestic animals may evolve by the accumulation of multiple causative mutations as a response to strong directional selection.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 11/2012; · 9.81 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: For 10,000 years pigs and humans have shared a close and complex relationship. From domestication to modern breeding practices, humans have shaped the genomes of domestic pigs. Here we present the assembly and analysis of the genome sequence of a female domestic Duroc pig (Sus scrofa) and a comparison with the genomes of wild and domestic pigs from Europe and Asia. Wild pigs emerged in South East Asia and subsequently spread across Eurasia. Our results reveal a deep phylogenetic split between European and Asian wild boars ∼1 million years ago, and a selective sweep analysis indicates selection on genes involved in RNA processing and regulation. Genes associated with immune response and olfaction exhibit fast evolution. Pigs have the largest repertoire of functional olfactory receptor genes, reflecting the importance of smell in this scavenging animal. The pig genome sequence provides an important resource for further improvements of this important livestock species, and our identification of many putative disease-causing variants extends the potential of the pig as a biomedical model.