Submitted to: Animal Reproduction Science
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 3/21/2020
Publication Date: 5/19/2020
Citation: Long, J.A. 2020. The `omics' revolution: use of genomic, transcriptomic, proteomic and metabolomic tools to predict male reproductive traits that impact fertility in livestock and poultry. Animal Reproduction Science. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.anireprosci.2020.106354.
Interpretive Summary: Production of livestock and poultry for food depends, in part, on the success of reproduction. Given the economic importance of food animal reproduction, many breeding programs employ genetic selection to improve fertility. Recent advances in molecular biology, including the availability of genome sequences for all major livestock and poultry species and tools to interrogate the reference genomes, provide an opportunity to search for genes and other biomarkers that can predict the fertility capability of individual animals. This is an important consideration particularly for males, where the fertility status typically is not known until sexual maturity is reached and semen quality measurements often are not correlated with fertility outcome, especially for males that can sire offspring but at a less than desirable rate (known as subfertile males). This review highlights recent research regarding potential genes and biomarkers that could be used to screen males for fertility capability and thus improve the reproductive efficiency of livestock and poultry.
Technical Abstract: Fertility is an important economic trait in livestock and poultry that relies on the genetic merit of both males and females. Despite the importance of the paternal contribution to reproductive success, the preponderance of research has focused on the female. The advent of the 'omics' era has stimulated the search for accurate predictors of male fertility, which is especially important for animal production where the fertility status of males most often is not known until sexual maturity is reached, and methods to assess semen quality often are not correlated with the fertility, especially subfertile males. Identification of biomarkers, such as genes, transcripts, proteins, metabolites, that are associated with fertility phenotypes has great potential to improve the reproductive efficiency of livestock and poultry. Recent findings of candidate genes and biomarkers are highlighted for the major agricultural species.