• Qinghua Nie

      Articles written in Journal of Genetics

    • Identification and characterization of the pig ABIN-1 gene and investigation of its association with reproduction traits

      Meixia Fang Hongli Du Yongsheng Hu Xiaoning Zhou Hongjia Ouyang Wei Zhang Xinzheng Jia Juan Li Yajun Wang Qinghua Nie Xiquan Zhang

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    • Molecular characterization, expression profile of the FSHR gene and its association with egg production traits in muscovy duck


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      Follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) and its receptor play a key role in the follicular development and regulation of steroidogenesis in the ovary and spermatogenesis in the testis. The purpose of this study was to characterize themuscovy duck FSHR gene, identify SNPs and their association with egg production traits in muscovy ducks. Here, we cloned the complementary DNA (cDNA) sequence of FSHR, and examined the expression patterns of FSHR gene in adult female muscovy duck tissues. The cloned cDNA of the muscovy duck FSHR gene shared high similarity to those of pekin duck (Anas platyrhynchos) (95.7%) and chicken (93.2%). Three different muscovy duck FSHR transcripts were identified. Quantitative real-time PCR (RT-qPCR) results showed that the FSHR gene was expressed in all the 14 testedtissues, and the highest expression level was seen in the ovary. A total of 16 SNPs were identified, among which, four SNPs were located in the coding region of FSHR. The SNP C320T is significantly associated with egg production at 59 weeks of age (P < 0.05), whereas the SNP A227G is significantly associated with age at first egg stage (P < 0.05).These results suggest that the two SNPs (A227G and C320T) of FSHR gene are associated with egg production traits and could be potential markers that can be used for marker-assisted selection programmes to increase egg production in muscovy duck.

    • Mapping of Id locus for dermal shank melanin in a Chinese indigenous chicken breed


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      The dermal shank pigmentation, one of the defining traits of chicken breeds, is caused by an abnormal deposition of melanin in the dermis of the shank. The abnormal deposition is controlled by the sex-linked inhibitor of dermal melanin (Id). In this study, we aim to locate the gene responsible for the dermal shank pigmentation in chickens by an association analysis and a differential expression analysis. Based on our results, 72 single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) located in Z chromosome (chrZ): 71–73 Mb (galGal3) were selected to further explore their relationships with the dermal shank pigmentation in pure lines of 96 Gushi hens and 96 Gushi hens with a yellow shank skin colour. The results of the association analysis showed that the SNPs located in chrZ: 72.58–72.99 Mb (galGal3) (chrZ: 79.02–79.44 Mb (galGal4)) are significantly associated with the dermal shank pigmentation. Based on the results of our previous studies and the present association analysis, the zinc-finger protein 608 (ZNF608), GRAM domain containing 3 (GRAMD3), aldehyde dehydrogenase 7 family member A1 (ALDH7A1), fem-1 homologue C (FEM1C), beta-1,4-galactosyltransferase 1 (B4GALT1) and versican (VCAN) genes were selected for the differential expression analysis. The gene expression profiles showed that the expression ofGRAMD3gene in the dermis tissues of the shank was significantly (P = 0.010738 < 0.05) higher in 350-day-old Gushi chickens characterized by the dermal shank pigmentation than in one-day-old Gushi chickens. The dermal shank pigmentation was not present in the one-day-old Gushi chickens. Additionally, the results of the association analysis and the expression analysis showed that GRAMD3 could be the most likely candidate gene for the Id locus. However, we did not detect a mutation, i.e. significantly associated with this trait within GRAMD3. Therefore, we concluded that the variations located in the flanking region of GRAMD3 led to the abnormal expression of GRAMD3, which requires further study.

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