Transcriptome analysis of the uterus of hens laying eggs differing in cuticle deposition

Poyatos Pertiñez, S., Wilson, P. W., Icken, W., Cavero, D., Bain, M. M. , Jones, A. C. and Dunn, I. C. (2020) Transcriptome analysis of the uterus of hens laying eggs differing in cuticle deposition. BMC Genomics, 21, 516. (doi: 10.1186/s12864-020-06882-7) (PMID:32718314) (PMCID:PMC7385972)

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BACKGROUND:Avian eggs have a proteinaceous cuticle. The quantity of cuticle varies and the deposition of a good cuticle in the uterus (Shell-gland) prevents transmission of bacteria to the egg contents. RESULTS:To understand cuticle deposition, uterus transcriptomes were compared between hens with i) naturally good and poor cuticle and, ii) where manipulation of the hypothalamo-pituitary-gonadal-oviduct axis produced eggs with or without cuticle. The highest expressed genes encoded eggshell matrix and cuticle proteins, e.g. MEPE (OC-116), BPIFB3 (OVX-36), RARRES1 (OVX-32), WAP (OVX-25), and genes for mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation, active transport and energy metabolism. Expression of a number of these genes differed between hens laying eggs with or without cuticle. There was also a high expression of clock genes. PER2, CRY2, CRY1, CLOCK and BMAL1 were differentially expressed when cuticle deposition was prevented, and they also changed throughout the egg formation cycle. This suggests an endogenous clock in the uterus may be a component of cuticle deposition control. Cuticle proteins are glycosylated and glycosaminoglycan binding genes had a lower expression when cuticle proteins were deposited on the egg. The immediate early genes, JUN and FOS, were expressed less when the cuticle had not been deposited and changed over the egg formation cycle, suggesting they are important in oviposition and cuticle deposition. The uterus transcriptome of hens with good and poor cuticle deposition did not differ. CONCLUSIONS:We have gained insights into the factors that can affect the production of the cuticle especially clock genes and immediate early genes. We have demonstrated that these genes change their expression over the period of eggshell formation supporting their importance. The lack of differences in expression between the uterus of hens laying eggs with the best and worse cuticle suggest the genetic basis of the trait may lie outside the oviduct.

Item Type:Articles
Additional Information:Funding: The work was funded by the BBSRC, Lohmann Tierzucht and Aviagen through the BBSRC LINK grants BB/K0070921/1 and BB/K006096/1 ‘Cute-Egg’. The Roslin Institute is funded by a BBSRC Institute strategic program grant BB/P013759/1.
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Bain, Professor Maureen
Authors: Poyatos Pertiñez, S., Wilson, P. W., Icken, W., Cavero, D., Bain, M. M., Jones, A. C., and Dunn, I. C.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Biodiversity, One Health & Veterinary Medicine
Journal Name:BMC Genomics
ISSN (Online):1471-2164
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2020 BioMed Central Ltd
First Published:First published in BMC Genomics 21:516
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License

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Project CodeAward NoProject NamePrincipal InvestigatorFunder's NameFunder RefLead Dept
190605Cute-Egg, improvement of eggshell cuticle quality to reduce vertical transmission of zoonotic and pathogenic organismsMaureen BainBiotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC)BB/K006096/1Institute of Biodiversity, Animal Health and Comparative Medicine