Skip to main content
ARS Home » Northeast Area » Beltsville, Maryland (BARC) » Beltsville Agricultural Research Center » Animal Genomics and Improvement Laboratory » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #343748

Title: Divergence analyses of sperm DNA methylomes between monozygotic twin AI bulls

item LIU, SHULI - Chinese Agricultural University
item CAI, WENTAO - Chinese Agricultural University
item YIN, HONGWEI - Chinese Agricultural University
item LIU, AOXING - Chinese Agricultural University
item LI, YANHUA - Collaborator
item WANG, YACHUN - Chinese Agricultural University
item Liu, Ge - George
item YU, YING - Chinese Agricultural University
item ZHANG, SHENGLI - Chinese Agricultural University

Submitted to: Epigenomes
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 9/17/2019
Publication Date: 9/26/2019
Citation: Liu, S., Cai, W., Yin, H., Liu, A., Li, Y., Wang, Y., Liu, G., Yu, Y., Zhang, S. 2019. Divergence analyses of sperm DNA methylomes between monozygotic twin AI bulls. Epigenomes. 3(4):21.

Interpretive Summary: Epigenetics is the study of heritable changes caused by mechanisms other than changes in the underlying sequence. Using a pair of monozygotic twin bulls, we studied the bovine sperm DNA methylome and their target genes associated with reproductive traits. These results strengthen the understanding of sperm DNA methylome and their regulatory roles on reproductive traits. Farmers, scientist, and policy planners who need improve animal health and production based on genome-enable animal selection will benefit from this study.

Technical Abstract: Epigenetic regulatory mechanisms of sperm quality traits are among the intriguing fields of discordant reproduction performance. Using a pair of monozygotic (MZ) twin seed bulls, which had moderately discordant semen qualities and had produced thousands of lactating daughters, we aimed to profile the bovine sperm DNA methylome and assess the regulatory target genes of DNA methylation with reproductive traits. Although bovine sperm genome was widely hypermethylated, its nucleosomes were mainly enriched in hypomethylation regions. Particularly, genes with nucleosomes enrichment and hypomethylation in promoters tend to be developmentally important genes. Furthermore, a total of 369 differentially methylated genes were ascertained between the sperm cells of the twin bulls, enriched in gene ontologies relevant for reproduction, embryo development and nervous system. Combined with transcriptomes, we found that two spermatogenesis-related genes, HSPA1L and ACTN1, showed a negative trend between DNA methylation levels in promoters and expression abundance in the sperm cells of the twin bulls. These two DNA methylation target genes could be relevant for discordant reproduction of the seed bulls. These data can strengthen the understanding of sperm methylome in ruminate animals and regulatory roles of DNA methylation on reproductive traits.