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Domestication Effects on Stress Induced Steroid Secretion and Adrenal Gene Expression in Chickens
Linköping University, Department of Physics, Chemistry and Biology, Biology. Linköping University, Faculty of Science & Engineering.
Department of Chemistry - Biomedical Center, Analytical Chemistry and Science for Life Laboratory, Uppsala University, Sweden.
Linköping University, Department of Physics, Chemistry and Biology, Biology. Linköping University, Faculty of Science & Engineering.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-1262-4585
Department of Chemistry - Biomedical Center, Analytical Chemistry and Science for Life Laboratory, Uppsala University, Sweden.
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2015 (English)In: Scientific Reports, ISSN 2045-2322, E-ISSN 2045-2322, Vol. 5, 1-10 p., 15345Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Understanding the genetic basis of phenotypic diversity is a challenge in contemporary biology. Domestication provides a model for unravelling aspects of the genetic basis of stress sensitivity. The ancestral Red Junglefowl (RJF) exhibits greater fear-related behaviour and a more pronounced HPA-axis reactivity than its domesticated counterpart, the White Leghorn (WL). By comparing hormones (plasmatic) and adrenal global gene transcription profiles between WL and RJF in response to an acute stress event, we investigated the molecular basis for the altered physiological stress responsiveness in domesticated chickens. Basal levels of pregnenolone and dehydroepiandrosterone as well as corticosterone response were lower in WL. Microarray analysis of gene expression in adrenal glands showed a significant breed effect in a large number of transcripts with over-representation of genes in the channel activity pathway. The expression of the best-known steroidogenesis genes were similar across the breeds used. Transcription levels of acute stress response genes such as StAR, CH25 and POMC were upregulated in response to acute stress. Dampened HPA reactivity in domesticated chickens was associated with changes in the expression of several genes that presents potentially minor regulatory effects rather than by means of change in expression of critical steroidogenic genes in the adrenal.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Nature Publishing Group, 2015. Vol. 5, 1-10 p., 15345
National Category
Bioinformatics and Systems Biology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-122305DOI: 10.1038/srep15345ISI: 000362885300001PubMedID: 26471470OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-122305DiVA: diva2:865542
Note

Funding agencies: Swedish Research Council (VR) [621-2011-4731]; Swedish Research Council for Environment, Agricultural Sciences and Spatial Planning (FORMAS) [221-2011-1088]; SRC [621-2011-5523]; ERC [322206]; Swedish Centre of Excellence in Animal Welfare

Available from: 2015-10-28 Created: 2015-10-28 Last updated: 2017-12-01
In thesis
1. Domestication Effects on the Stress Response in Chickens: Genetics, Physiology, and Behaviour
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Domestication Effects on the Stress Response in Chickens: Genetics, Physiology, and Behaviour
2017 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Animal domestication, the process where animals become adapted to living in proximity to humans, is associated with the alteration of multiple traits, including decreased fearfulness and stress response. With an estimated population of 50 billion, the domesticated chicken is the most populous avian species in the world. Hundreds of chicken breeds have been developed for meat and egg production, hobby or research purposes. Multidirectional selection and the relaxation of natural selection in captivity have created immense phenotypic diversity amongst domesticates in a relatively short evolutionary time. The extensive phenotypic diversity, existence of the wild ancestor, and feasibility of intercrossing various breeds makes the chicken a suitable model animal for deciphering genetic determinants of complex traits such as stress response. We used chicken domestication as a model to gain insights about the mechanisms that regulate stress response in an avian species. We studied behavioural and physiological stress response in the ancestral Red Junglefowl and one of its domesticated progenies, White Leghorn. An advanced intercross between the aforementioned breeds was later used to map genetic loci underlying modification of stress response. The general pattern of the stress response in chickens was comparable with that reported in mammals, however we identified distinctive differences in the stress modulatory pathways in chickens. We showed that changes in the expression levels of several stress modulatory genes in the brain, the pituitary and the adrenal glands underlie the observed modified stress response in domesticated chickens. Using quantitative trait loci (QTL) mapping, several QTL underlying stress induced corticosterone, aldosterone and baseline dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) levels were detected. As a next step, we combined QTL mapping with gene expression (eQTL) mapping and narrowed two QTL down to the putative causal genes, SERPINA10 and PDE1C. Both of these genes were differentially expressed in the adrenal glands of White Leghorn and the Red Junglefowl, had overlapping eQTL with hormonal QTL, and their expression levels in the adrenal glands were correlated with plasma levels of corticosterone and al-dosterone. These two genes thus serve as strong candidates for further functional investigation concerning modification of the stress response during domestication. This dissertation increase the knowledge about genetics and physiology of the stress response in an avian species and its modification during domestication. Our findings expand the basic knowledge about the stress response in chicken, which can potentially be used to improve welfare through appropriate genetic selection.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Linköping: Linköping University Electronic Press, 2017. 31 p.
Series
Linköping Studies in Science and Technology. Dissertations, ISSN 0345-7524 ; 1842
Keyword
Animal domestication, stress response, gene expression, QTL, eQTL
National Category
Genetics Evolutionary Biology Zoology Developmental Biology Genetics and Breeding
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-137350 (URN)10.3384/diss.diva-137350 (DOI)9789176855461 (ISBN)
Public defence
2017-06-09, Plank, Fysikhuset, Campus Valla, Linköping, 09:00
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Available from: 2017-05-15 Created: 2017-05-15 Last updated: 2017-05-15Bibliographically approved

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Fallahshahroudi, AmirJohnsson, MartinWright, DominicJensen, Per

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