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Title: The effects of sham versus artificial insemination on differential gene expression in the reproductive tract of turkey (Meleagris Gallapovo) hens

item Toomer, Ondulla
item Long, Julie
item Bakst, Murray
item Blomberg, Le Ann
item McMurtry, John

Submitted to: BARC Poster Day
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 3/25/2008
Publication Date: 3/25/2008
Citation: Foye-Jackson, O.T., Long, J. A., Bakst, M.R., Blomberg, L., Becker, K.G., Wood, W.H., McMurtry, J.P. 2008. The effects of sham versus artificial insemination on differential gene expression in the reproductive tract of turkey (Meleagris Gallapovo) hens. BARC Poster Day.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Due to decades of intensive selection for rapid growth, greater bodyweight gains and breast yield the modern day domestic turkey can not procreate naturally. Consequently, artificial insemination (AI) has become a primary focus within the poultry industry to ensure the preservation of genetic material and species. Despite heavy dependence of the turkey industry on AI for production, a successful method for long-term in vitro storage of turkey semen has not yet been developed. Sperm stored in vitro maintains viability for approximately 6-8 hours under optimal handling conditions, while in vivo sperm can be viably maintained in the sperm storage tubules (SST) for up to 10 weeks after a single insemination. Therefore, our project objective is to better understand the physiological and molecular mechanisms involved in regulating long-term sperm storage in vivo and, ultimately improve in vitro sperm storage methodology. In this study, our goal was to identify and characterize genes expressed in the reproductive tract of the turkey hen, identify those genes that are differentially expressed in the SST, and identify specific genes that may enable and regulate prolonged sperm storage in the SST. To meet these objectives cDNA libraries were constructed from total RNA from the vaginal epithelium (VE) and SST of 38-week old AI turkey hens. Unique transcripts were identified by suppressive subtractive hybridization techniques. Novel transcripts were cloned to obtain full length sequences. Differentially expressed transcripts were determined by macroarray techniques and analysis. Gene annotations and characterizations were determined utilizing Chicken Genome databases. Subsequently, differential expression was validated by quantitative real-time PCR. Approximately, 9% of the total putative transcripts (480) were identified as differentially expressed to the SST, with a 40 fold increase in avidin expression in the SST over the VE of AI turkey hens. In parallel, previous experiments by Long et al., (2003) demonstrated a 2.8 fold increase in avidin expression in SST with resident sperm over SST without resident sperm. With greater insight of the genes and regulatory mechanisms involved in prolonged sperm storage, turkey producers may improve semen storage conditions, reproduction and ultimately meat and egg production which may be of great economic value.