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ARS Home » Southeast Area » Athens, Georgia » U.S. National Poultry Research Center » Avian Disease and Oncology Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #324786

Title: Validation of alternative transcript splicing in chicken lines that differ in genetic resistance to Marek’s disease

item KAYA, MUHAMMET - Eskisehir Osmangazi University
item PREEYANON, LIKIT - Michigan State University
item DODGSON, JERRY - Michigan State University
item Cheng, Hans

Submitted to: Animal Biotechnology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 4/11/2016
Publication Date: 8/10/2016
Publication URL:
Citation: Kaya, M., Preeyanon, L., Dodgson, J., Cheng, H.H. 2016. Validation of alternative transcript splicing in chicken lines that differ in genetic resistance to Marek’s disease. Animal Biotechnology. 27(4):238-244 doi: 10.1080/10495398.2016.1178139.

Interpretive Summary: It is highly desirable that the poultry industry identify and implement control mechanisms that combat infectious diseases such as Marek’s disease of chickens, which causes over $2 billion in losses worldwide each year. A sustainable solution is to enhance genetic resistance to Marek’s disease through precision genetic selection based on DNA markers. In this work, we investigate potential molecular mechanisms and find a number of genes with alternative splicing of their message between defined chicken lines. The work is relevant to academics working on Marek’s disease and other diseases in poultry and other animal species as it indicates that one needs to survey RNA and splice variants for each gene.

Technical Abstract: Utilizing RNA-seq data, 1,574 candidate genes with alternative splicing were previously identified between two chicken lines that differ in Marek’s disease (MD) genetic resistance under control and Marek’s disease virus infection conditions. After filtering out 1,530 genes with splice variants in the first or last exon, 44 genes were screened for possible exon loss or gain using PCR and gel electrophoresis. Consequently, 7 genes exhibited visually detectable differential expression of splice variants between lines 6 (MD resistant) and 7 (MD susceptible), and the resultant PCR products verified by DNA sequencing. Birds from inbred line 6 have transcripts that preferentially retain an exon compared to line 7 chickens for ITGB2, SGPL1, and COMMD5. Birds from inbred line 7 have alleles that preferentially retain an exon compared to line 6 for MOCS2. CCBL2 exon 1a is absent and ATAD1 exon 2 is truncated by 87 nucleotides in transcripts expressed by line 7 compared to those from line 6. For CHTF18, line 6 transcripts have an indel mutation with 7 additional nucleotides in exon 21 compared to line 7. The current study validates 7 genes with alternatively spliced isomers between the two chicken lines, which helps provide potential underlying mechanisms for the phenotypic differences.