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  • 1.
    Cardoso-Moreira, Margarida
    et al.
    Heidelberg Univ ZMBH, Germany; Univ Lausanne, Switzerland.
    Halbert, Jean
    Univ Lausanne, Switzerland.
    Valloton, Delphine
    Univ Lausanne, Switzerland.
    Velten, Britta
    European Mol Biol Lab, Germany.
    Chen, Chunyan
    Chinese Acad Sci, Peoples R China; Chinese Acad Sci, Peoples R China; Univ Chinese Acad Sci, Peoples R China.
    Shao, Yi
    Chinese Acad Sci, Peoples R China; Chinese Acad Sci, Peoples R China; Univ Chinese Acad Sci, Peoples R China.
    Liechti, Angelica
    Univ Lausanne, Switzerland.
    Ascencao, Kelly
    Univ Lausanne, Switzerland.
    Rummel, Coralie
    Univ Lausanne, Switzerland.
    Ovchinnikova, Svetlana
    Heidelberg Univ ZMBH, Germany.
    Mazin, Pavel V.
    Skolkovo Inst Sci and Technol, Russia; RAS, Russia; HSE Univ, Russia.
    Xenarios, Ioannis
    Univ Lausanne, Switzerland.
    Harshman, Keith
    Univ Lausanne, Switzerland.
    Mort, Matthew
    Cardiff Univ, Wales.
    Cooper, David N.
    Cardiff Univ, Wales.
    Sandi, Carmen
    Ecole Polytech Fed Lausanne, Switzerland.
    Soares, Michael J.
    Univ Kansas, MO USA; Childrens Mercy, MO USA.
    Ferreira, Paula G.
    Univ Porto, Portugal; Univ Porto, Portugal.
    Afonso, Sandra
    Univ Porto, Portugal.
    Carneiro, Miguel
    Univ Porto, Portugal; Univ Porto, Portugal.
    Turner, James M. A.
    Francis Crick Inst, England.
    VandeBerg, John L.
    Univ Texas Rio Grande Valley, TX USA; Univ Texas Rio Grande Valley, TX USA; Univ Texas Rio Grande Valley, TX USA; Univ Texas Rio Grande Valley, TX USA; Univ Texas Rio Grande Valley, TX USA; Univ Texas Rio Grande Valley, TX USA.
    Fallahshahroudi, Amir
    Linköping University, Department of Physics, Chemistry and Biology, Biology. Linköping University, Faculty of Science & Engineering.
    Jensen, Per
    Linköping University, Department of Physics, Chemistry and Biology, Biology. Linköping University, Faculty of Science & Engineering.
    Behr, Ruediger
    Leibniz Inst Primate Res DPZ, Germany; DZHK German Ctr Cardiovasc Res, Germany.
    Lisgo, Steven
    Newcastle Univ, England.
    Lindsay, Susan
    Newcastle Univ, England.
    Khaitovich, Philipp
    Skolkovo Inst Sci and Technol, Russia; Chinese Acad Sci, Peoples R China; Univ Chinese Acad Sci, Peoples R China.
    Huber, Wolfgang
    European Mol Biol Lab, Germany.
    Baker, Julie
    Stanford Univ, CA 94305 USA.
    Anders, Simon
    Heidelberg Univ ZMBH, Germany.
    Zhang, Yong E.
    Chinese Acad Sci, Peoples R China; Chinese Acad Sci, Peoples R China; Chinese Acad Sci, Peoples R China.
    Kaessmann, Henrik
    Heidelberg Univ ZMBH, Germany.
    Gene expression across mammalian organ development2019In: Nature, ISSN 0028-0836, E-ISSN 1476-4687, Vol. 571, no 7766, p. 505-+Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The evolution of gene expression in mammalian organ development remains largely uncharacterized. Here we report the transcriptomes of seven organs (cerebrum, cerebellum, heart, kidney, liver, ovary and testis) across developmental time points from early organogenesis to adulthood for human, rhesus macaque, mouse, rat, rabbit, opossum and chicken. Comparisons of gene expression patterns identified correspondences of developmental stages across species, and differences in the timing of key events during the development of the gonads. We found that the breadth of gene expression and the extent of purifying selection gradually decrease during development, whereas the amount of positive selection and expression of new genes increase. We identified differences in the temporal trajectories of expression of individual genes across species, with brain tissues showing the smallest percentage of trajectory changes, and the liver and testis showing the largest. Our work provides a resource of developmental transcriptomes of seven organs across seven species, and comparative analyses that characterize the development and evolution of mammalian organs.

  • 2.
    Elfwing, Magnus
    et al.
    Linköping University, Department of Physics, Chemistry and Biology, Biology. Linköping University, The Institute of Technology.
    Fallahshahroudi, Amir
    Linköping University, Department of Physics, Chemistry and Biology, Biology. Linköping University, The Institute of Technology.
    Lindgren, Isa
    Linköping University, Department of Physics, Chemistry and Biology, Biology. Linköping University, The Institute of Technology.
    Jensen, Per
    Linköping University, Department of Physics, Chemistry and Biology, Biology. Linköping University, The Institute of Technology.
    Altimiras, Jordi
    Linköping University, Department of Physics, Chemistry and Biology, Biology. Linköping University, The Institute of Technology.
    The Strong Selective Sweep Candidate Gene ADRA2C Does Not Explain Domestication Related Changes In The Stress Response Of Chickens2014In: PLoS ONE, ISSN 1932-6203, E-ISSN 1932-6203, Vol. 9, no 8, p. e103218-Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Analysis of selective sweeps to pinpoint causative genomic regions involved in chicken domestication has revealed a strongselective sweep on chromosome 4 in layer chickens. The autoregulatory a-adrenergic receptor 2C (ADRA2C) gene is theclosest to the selective sweep and was proposed as an important gene in the domestication of layer chickens. The ADRA2Cpromoter region was also hypermethylated in comparison to the non-selected ancestor of all domesticated chicken breeds,the Red Junglefowl, further supporting its relevance. In mice the receptor is involved in the fight-or-flight response as itmodulates epinephrine release from the adrenals. To investigate the involvement of ADRA2C in chicken domestication, wemeasured gene expression in the adrenals and radiolabeled receptor ligand in three brain regions comparing the domesticWhite Leghorn strain with the wild ancestor Red Junglefowl. In adrenals ADRA2C was twofold greater expressed than therelated receptor gene ADRA2A, indicating that ADRA2C is the predominant modulator of epinephrine release but no straindifferences were measured. In hypothalamus and amygdala, regions associated with the stress response, and in striatum,receptor binding pIC50 values ranged between 8.1–8.4, and the level was not influenced by the genotyped allele. Becausechicken strains differ in morphology, physiology and behavior, differences attributed to a single gene may be lost in thenoise caused by the heterogeneous genetic background. Therefore an F10 advanced intercross strain between WhiteLeghorn and Red Junglefowl was used to investigate effects of ADRA2C alleles on fear related behaviors and fecundity. Wedid not find compelling genotype effects in open field, tonic immobility, aerial predator, associative learning or fecundity.Therefore we conclude that ADRA2C is probably not involved in the domestication of the stress response in chicken, and thestrong selective sweep is probably caused by selection of some unknown genetic element in the vicinity of the gene.

  • 3.
    Ericsson, Maria
    et al.
    Linköping University, Department of Physics, Chemistry and Biology, Biology. Linköping University, The Institute of Technology.
    Fallahsharoudi, Amir
    Linköping University, Department of Physics, Chemistry and Biology, Biology. Linköping University, The Institute of Technology.
    Bergquist, Jonas
    Uppsala University, Sweden.
    Kushnir, Mark M.
    Uppsala University, Sweden.
    Jensen, Per
    Linköping University, Department of Physics, Chemistry and Biology, Zoology. Linköping University, Department of Physics, Chemistry and Biology, Biology. Linköping University, The Institute of Technology.
    Domestication effects on behavioural and hormonal responses to acute stress in chickens2014In: Physiology and Behavior, ISSN 0031-9384, E-ISSN 1873-507X, Vol. 133, p. 161-169Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Comparative studies have shown that alterations in physiology, morphology and behaviour have arisen due tothe domestication. A driving factor behind many of the changes could be a shift in stress responses,withmodifiedendocrine and behavioural profiles. In the present study we compared two breeds of chicken (Gallus gallus), thedomesticWhite Leghorn (WL) egg laying breed and its ancestor, the Red Junglefowl (RJF). Birds were exposed toan acute stress event, invoked by 3 or 10 min of physical restraint. Theywere then continuouslymonitored for theeffects on a wide range of behaviours during a 60 min recovery phase. Blood samples were collected from thechicken at baseline, and after 10 and 60 min following a similar restraint stress, and the samples wereanalyzed for nine endogenous steroids of the HPA and HPG axes. Concentration of the steroids was determinedusing validated liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry methods. In RJF, an immediate behaviouralresponse was observed after release from restraint in several behaviours, with a relatively fast return to baselinewithin 1 h. In WL, somebehaviourswere affected for a longer period of time, and others not at all. Concentrationsof corticosterone increasedmore in RJF, but returned faster to baseline compared toWL. A range of baseline levelsfor HPG-related steroids differed between the breeds, and they were generally more affected by the stress in WLthan in RJF. In conclusion, RJF reacted stronger both behaviourally and physiologically to the restraint stress, butalso recovered faster. This would appear to be adaptive under natural conditions, whereas the stress recovery ofdomesticated birds has been altered by domestication and breeding for increased reproductive output.

  • 4. Order onlineBuy this publication >>
    Fallahshahroudi, Amir
    Linköping University, Department of Physics, Chemistry and Biology, Biology. Linköping University, Faculty of Science & Engineering.
    Domestication Effects on the Stress Response in Chickens: Genetics, Physiology, and Behaviour2017Doctoral 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.

    List of papers
    1. Domestication effects on behavioural and hormonal responses to acute stress in chickens
    Open this publication in new window or tab >>Domestication effects on behavioural and hormonal responses to acute stress in chickens
    Show others...
    2014 (English)In: Physiology and Behavior, ISSN 0031-9384, E-ISSN 1873-507X, Vol. 133, p. 161-169Article in journal (Refereed) Published
    Abstract [en]

    Comparative studies have shown that alterations in physiology, morphology and behaviour have arisen due tothe domestication. A driving factor behind many of the changes could be a shift in stress responses,withmodifiedendocrine and behavioural profiles. In the present study we compared two breeds of chicken (Gallus gallus), thedomesticWhite Leghorn (WL) egg laying breed and its ancestor, the Red Junglefowl (RJF). Birds were exposed toan acute stress event, invoked by 3 or 10 min of physical restraint. Theywere then continuouslymonitored for theeffects on a wide range of behaviours during a 60 min recovery phase. Blood samples were collected from thechicken at baseline, and after 10 and 60 min following a similar restraint stress, and the samples wereanalyzed for nine endogenous steroids of the HPA and HPG axes. Concentration of the steroids was determinedusing validated liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry methods. In RJF, an immediate behaviouralresponse was observed after release from restraint in several behaviours, with a relatively fast return to baselinewithin 1 h. In WL, somebehaviourswere affected for a longer period of time, and others not at all. Concentrationsof corticosterone increasedmore in RJF, but returned faster to baseline compared toWL. A range of baseline levelsfor HPG-related steroids differed between the breeds, and they were generally more affected by the stress in WLthan in RJF. In conclusion, RJF reacted stronger both behaviourally and physiologically to the restraint stress, butalso recovered faster. This would appear to be adaptive under natural conditions, whereas the stress recovery ofdomesticated birds has been altered by domestication and breeding for increased reproductive output.

    Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
    Elsevier, 2014
    Keywords
    Corticosterone Recovery Restraint White Leghorn Red Junglefowl
    National Category
    Biological Sciences
    Identifiers
    urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-107167 (URN)10.1016/j.physbeh.2014.05.024 (DOI)000340315100022 ()
    Note

    Funders: Swedish Research Council (VR) [621-2011-4731]; Swedish Research Council for Environment, Agricultural Sciences and Spatial Planning (FORMAS) [221-2011-1088]; ERC (project Genewell) [322206]; Swedish Centre of Excellence in Animal Welfare; ARUP Institute for Clinical and Experimental Pathology

    Available from: 2014-06-09 Created: 2014-06-09 Last updated: 2017-12-05
    2. Domestication Effects on Stress Induced Steroid Secretion and Adrenal Gene Expression in Chickens
    Open this publication in new window or tab >>Domestication Effects on Stress Induced Steroid Secretion and Adrenal Gene Expression in Chickens
    Show others...
    2015 (English)In: Scientific Reports, ISSN 2045-2322, E-ISSN 2045-2322, Vol. 5, p. 1-10, article id 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
    National Category
    Bioinformatics and Systems Biology
    Identifiers
    urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-122305 (URN)10.1038/srep15345 (DOI)000362885300001 ()26471470 (PubMedID)
    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
    3. Genetic and Targeted eQTL Mapping Reveals Strong Candidate Genes Modulating the Stress Response During Chicken Domestication.
    Open this publication in new window or tab >>Genetic and Targeted eQTL Mapping Reveals Strong Candidate Genes Modulating the Stress Response During Chicken Domestication.
    Show others...
    2017 (English)In: G3: Genes, Genomes, Genetics, ISSN 2160-1836, E-ISSN 2160-1836, Vol. 7, no 2Article in journal (Refereed) Published
    Abstract [en]

    The stress response has been largely modified in all domesticated animals, offering a strong tool for genetic mapping. In chickens, ancestral Red Junglefowl react stronger both in terms of physiology and behavior to a brief restraint stress than domesticated White Leghorn, demonstrating modified functions of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis. We mapped quantitative trait loci (QTL) underlying variations in stress-induced hormone levels using 232 birds from the 12th generation of an advanced intercross between White Leghorn and Red Junglefowl, genotyped for 739 genetic markers. Plasma levels of corticosterone, dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA), and pregnenolone (PREG) were measured using LC-MS/MS in all genotyped birds. Transcription levels of the candidate genes were measured in the adrenal glands or hypothalamus of 88 out of the 232 birds used for hormone assessment. Genes were targeted for expression analysis when they were located in a hormone QTL region and were differentially expressed in the pure breed birds. One genome-wide significant QTL on chromosome 5 and two suggestive QTL together explained 20% of the variance in corticosterone response. Two significant QTL for aldosterone on chromosome 2 and 5 (explaining 19% of the variance), and one QTL for DHEA on chromosome 4 (explaining 5% of the variance), were detected. Orthologous DNA regions to the significant corticosterone QTL have been previously associated with the physiological stress response in other species but, to our knowledge, the underlying gene(s) have not been identified. SERPINA10 had an expression QTL (eQTL) colocalized with the corticosterone QTL on chromosome 5 and PDE1C had an eQTL colocalized with the aldosterone QTL on chromosome 2. Furthermore, in both cases, the expression levels of the genes were correlated with the plasma levels of the hormones. Hence, both these genes are strong putative candidates for the domestication-induced modifications of the stress response in chickens. Improved understanding of the genes associated with HPA-axis reactivity can provide insights into the pathways and mechanisms causing stress-related pathologies.

    Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
    The Genetics Society, 2017
    Keywords
    animal, domestication, quantitative trait, genes, corticosterone, aldosterone
    National Category
    Biological Sciences
    Identifiers
    urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-134649 (URN)10.1534/g3.116.037721 (DOI)000394357100015 ()27974436 (PubMedID)
    Note

    Funding agencies: Swedish Research Council (SRC) (Vetenskapsradet) [621-2011-4731]; Swedish Research Council for Environment, Agricultural Sciences and Spatial Planning (Forskningsradet for Miljo, Areella Naringar och Samhallsbyggande) [221-2011-1088]; European Research Co

    Available from: 2017-02-21 Created: 2017-02-21 Last updated: 2017-11-29
    4. QTL mapping of stress related gene expression in a cross between domesticated chickens and ancestral red junglefowl.
    Open this publication in new window or tab >>QTL mapping of stress related gene expression in a cross between domesticated chickens and ancestral red junglefowl.
    Show others...
    2017 (English)In: Molecular and Cellular Endocrinology, ISSN 0303-7207, E-ISSN 1872-8057, Vol. 446, p. 52-58, article id S0303-7207(17)30090-4Article in journal (Refereed) Published
    Abstract [en]

    Domestication of animals is associated with numerous alterations in physiology, morphology, and behavior. Lower reactivity of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis and reduced fearfulness is seen in most studied domesticates, including chickens. Previously we have shown that the physiological stress response as well as expression levels of hundreds of genes in the hypothalamus and adrenal glands are different between domesticated White Leghorn and the progenitor of modern chickens, the Red Junglefowl. To map genetic loci associated with the transcription levels of genes involved in the physiological stress response, we conducted an eQTL analysis in the F12 generation of an inter-cross between White Leghorn and Red Junglefowl. We selected genes for further studies based on their known function in the regulation of the HPA axis or sympathoadrenal (SA) system, and measured their expression levels in the hypothalamus and the adrenal glands after a brief stress exposure (physical restraint). The expression values were treated as quantitative traits for the eQTL mapping. The plasma levels of corticosterone were also assessed. We analyzed the correlation between gene expression and corticosterone levels and mapped eQTL and their potential effects on corticosterone levels. The effects on gene transcription of a previously found QTL for corticosterone response were also investigated. The expression levels of the glucocorticoid receptor (GR) in the hypothalamus and several genes in the adrenal glands were correlated with the post-stress levels of corticosterone in plasma. We found several cis- and trans-acting eQTL for stress-related genes in both hypothalamus and adrenal. In the hypothalamus, one eQTL for c-FOS and one QTL for expression of GR were found. In the adrenal tissue, we identified eQTL for the genes NR0B1, RGS4, DBH, MAOA, GRIN1, GABRB2, GABRB3, and HSF1. None of the found eQTL were significant predictors of corticosterone levels. The previously found QTL for corticosterone was associated with GR expression in hypothalamus. Our data suggests that domestication related modification in the stress response is driven by changes in the transcription levels of several modulators of the HPA and SA systems in hypothalamus and adrenal glands and not by changes in the expression of the steroidogenic genes. The presence of eQTL for GR in hypothalamus combined with the negative correlation between GR expression and corticosterone response suggests GR as a candidate for further functional studies regarding modification of stress response during chicken domestication.

    Keywords
    Animal domestication, HPA axis, QTL, Stress response, eQTL
    National Category
    Biological Sciences
    Identifiers
    urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-136027 (URN)10.1016/j.mce.2017.02.010 (DOI)000399509600006 ()28189567 (PubMedID)
    Note

    Funding agencies: Swedish Research Council (VR) [621-2011-4731]; Swedish Research Council for Environment, Agricultural Sciences and Spatial Planning (FORMAS) [221-2011-1088]; ERC [Genewell 322206]; SRC grant [VR 621-2011-4423, 2015-4870]; Swedish Centre of Excellence in A

    Available from: 2017-03-27 Created: 2017-03-27 Last updated: 2018-09-27
  • 5.
    Fallahshahroudi, Amir
    et al.
    Linköping University, Department of Physics, Chemistry and Biology, Biology. Linköping University, Faculty of Science & Engineering.
    de Kock, Neil
    Department of Chemistry, BMC, Analytical Chemistry and Neurochemistry, University of.
    Johnsson, Martin
    Linköping University, Department of Physics, Chemistry and Biology, Biology. Linköping University, Faculty of Science & Engineering.
    Bektic, Lejla
    Linköping University, Department of Physics, Chemistry and Biology, Biology. Linköping University, Faculty of Science & Engineering.
    Ubhayasekera, S J Kumari A
    Department of Chemistry, BMC, Analytical Chemistry and Neurochemistry, University of.
    Bergquist, Jonas
    Department of Chemistry, BMC, Analytical Chemistry and Neurochemistry, University of.
    Wright, Dominic
    Linköping University, Department of Physics, Chemistry and Biology, Biology. Linköping University, Faculty of Science & Engineering.
    Jensen, Per
    Linköping University, Department of Physics, Chemistry and Biology, Biology. Linköping University, Faculty of Science & Engineering.
    Genetic and Targeted eQTL Mapping Reveals Strong Candidate Genes Modulating the Stress Response During Chicken Domestication.2017In: G3: Genes, Genomes, Genetics, ISSN 2160-1836, E-ISSN 2160-1836, Vol. 7, no 2Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The stress response has been largely modified in all domesticated animals, offering a strong tool for genetic mapping. In chickens, ancestral Red Junglefowl react stronger both in terms of physiology and behavior to a brief restraint stress than domesticated White Leghorn, demonstrating modified functions of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis. We mapped quantitative trait loci (QTL) underlying variations in stress-induced hormone levels using 232 birds from the 12th generation of an advanced intercross between White Leghorn and Red Junglefowl, genotyped for 739 genetic markers. Plasma levels of corticosterone, dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA), and pregnenolone (PREG) were measured using LC-MS/MS in all genotyped birds. Transcription levels of the candidate genes were measured in the adrenal glands or hypothalamus of 88 out of the 232 birds used for hormone assessment. Genes were targeted for expression analysis when they were located in a hormone QTL region and were differentially expressed in the pure breed birds. One genome-wide significant QTL on chromosome 5 and two suggestive QTL together explained 20% of the variance in corticosterone response. Two significant QTL for aldosterone on chromosome 2 and 5 (explaining 19% of the variance), and one QTL for DHEA on chromosome 4 (explaining 5% of the variance), were detected. Orthologous DNA regions to the significant corticosterone QTL have been previously associated with the physiological stress response in other species but, to our knowledge, the underlying gene(s) have not been identified. SERPINA10 had an expression QTL (eQTL) colocalized with the corticosterone QTL on chromosome 5 and PDE1C had an eQTL colocalized with the aldosterone QTL on chromosome 2. Furthermore, in both cases, the expression levels of the genes were correlated with the plasma levels of the hormones. Hence, both these genes are strong putative candidates for the domestication-induced modifications of the stress response in chickens. Improved understanding of the genes associated with HPA-axis reactivity can provide insights into the pathways and mechanisms causing stress-related pathologies.

  • 6.
    Fallahshahroudi, Amir
    et al.
    Linköping University, Department of Physics, Chemistry and Biology, Biology. Linköping University, Faculty of Science & Engineering.
    de Kock, Nick
    Department of Chemistry - Biomedical Center, Analytical Chemistry and Science for Life Laboratory, Uppsala University, Sweden.
    Johnsson, Martin
    Linköping University, Department of Physics, Chemistry and Biology, Biology. Linköping University, Faculty of Science & Engineering.
    Ubhayasekera, S.J. Kumari A.
    Department of Chemistry - Biomedical Center, Analytical Chemistry and Science for Life Laboratory, Uppsala University, Sweden.
    Bergqvist, Jonas
    Department of Chemistry - Biomedical Center, Analytical Chemistry and Science for Life Laboratory, Uppsala University, Sweden.
    Wright, Dominic
    Linköping University, Department of Physics, Chemistry and Biology, Biology. Linköping University, Faculty of Science & Engineering.
    Jensen, Per
    Linköping University, Department of Physics, Chemistry and Biology, Biology. Linköping University, Faculty of Science & Engineering.
    Domestication Effects on Stress Induced Steroid Secretion and Adrenal Gene Expression in Chickens2015In: Scientific Reports, ISSN 2045-2322, E-ISSN 2045-2322, Vol. 5, p. 1-10, article id 15345Article in journal (Refereed)
    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.

  • 7.
    Fallahsharoudi, Amir
    et al.
    Linköping University, Department of Physics, Chemistry and Biology, Biology. Linköping University, Faculty of Science & Engineering.
    de Kock, Neil
    Department of Chemistry e Biomedical Center, Analytical Chemistry and Neurochemistry - BMC, 75124 Uppsala, Sweden.
    Johnsson, Martin
    Linköping University, Department of Physics, Chemistry and Biology, Biology. Linköping University, Faculty of Science & Engineering.
    Bektic, Lejla
    Linköping University, Department of Physics, Chemistry and Biology, Biology. Linköping University, Faculty of Science & Engineering.
    Ubhayasekera, S J Kumari A
    Department of Chemistry e Biomedical Center, Analytical Chemistry and Neurochemistry - BMC, 75124 Uppsala, Sweden.
    Bergquist, Jonas
    Department of Chemistry e Biomedical Center, Analytical Chemistry and Neurochemistry - BMC, 75124 Uppsala, Sweden.
    Wright, Dominic
    Linköping University, Department of Physics, Chemistry and Biology, Biology. Linköping University, Faculty of Science & Engineering.
    Jensen, Per
    Linköping University, Department of Physics, Chemistry and Biology, Biology. Linköping University, Faculty of Science & Engineering.
    QTL mapping of stress related gene expression in a cross between domesticated chickens and ancestral red junglefowl.2017In: Molecular and Cellular Endocrinology, ISSN 0303-7207, E-ISSN 1872-8057, Vol. 446, p. 52-58, article id S0303-7207(17)30090-4Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Domestication of animals is associated with numerous alterations in physiology, morphology, and behavior. Lower reactivity of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis and reduced fearfulness is seen in most studied domesticates, including chickens. Previously we have shown that the physiological stress response as well as expression levels of hundreds of genes in the hypothalamus and adrenal glands are different between domesticated White Leghorn and the progenitor of modern chickens, the Red Junglefowl. To map genetic loci associated with the transcription levels of genes involved in the physiological stress response, we conducted an eQTL analysis in the F12 generation of an inter-cross between White Leghorn and Red Junglefowl. We selected genes for further studies based on their known function in the regulation of the HPA axis or sympathoadrenal (SA) system, and measured their expression levels in the hypothalamus and the adrenal glands after a brief stress exposure (physical restraint). The expression values were treated as quantitative traits for the eQTL mapping. The plasma levels of corticosterone were also assessed. We analyzed the correlation between gene expression and corticosterone levels and mapped eQTL and their potential effects on corticosterone levels. The effects on gene transcription of a previously found QTL for corticosterone response were also investigated. The expression levels of the glucocorticoid receptor (GR) in the hypothalamus and several genes in the adrenal glands were correlated with the post-stress levels of corticosterone in plasma. We found several cis- and trans-acting eQTL for stress-related genes in both hypothalamus and adrenal. In the hypothalamus, one eQTL for c-FOS and one QTL for expression of GR were found. In the adrenal tissue, we identified eQTL for the genes NR0B1, RGS4, DBH, MAOA, GRIN1, GABRB2, GABRB3, and HSF1. None of the found eQTL were significant predictors of corticosterone levels. The previously found QTL for corticosterone was associated with GR expression in hypothalamus. Our data suggests that domestication related modification in the stress response is driven by changes in the transcription levels of several modulators of the HPA and SA systems in hypothalamus and adrenal glands and not by changes in the expression of the steroidogenic genes. The presence of eQTL for GR in hypothalamus combined with the negative correlation between GR expression and corticosterone response suggests GR as a candidate for further functional studies regarding modification of stress response during chicken domestication.

  • 8.
    Fallahsharoudi, Amir
    et al.
    Linköping University, Department of Physics, Chemistry and Biology, Biology. Linköping University, Faculty of Science & Engineering.
    Løtvedt, Pia
    Linköping University, Department of Physics, Chemistry and Biology, Biology. Linköping University, Faculty of Science & Engineering. AVIAN Behavioural Genomics and Physiology Group, IFM Biology, Linköping University, 58183, Linköping, Sweden..
    Beltéky, Johan
    Linköping University, Department of Physics, Chemistry and Biology, Biology. Linköping University, Faculty of Science & Engineering.
    Altimiras, Jordi
    Linköping University, Department of Physics, Chemistry and Biology, Biology. Linköping University, Faculty of Science & Engineering.
    Jensen, Per
    Linköping University, Department of Physics, Chemistry and Biology, Biology. Linköping University, Faculty of Science & Engineering.
    Changes in pituitary gene expression may underlie multiple domesticated traits in chickens.2019In: Heredity, ISSN 0018-067X, E-ISSN 1365-2540, Vol. 122, no 2, p. 195-204Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Domesticated animals share a unique set of morphological and behavioral traits, jointly referred to as the domesticated phenotype. Striking similarities amongst a range of unrelated domesticated species suggest that similar regulatory mechanisms may underlie the domesticated phenotype. These include color pattern, growth, reproduction, development and stress response. Although previous studies have focused on the brain to find mechanisms underlying domestication, the potential role of the pituitary gland as a target of domestication is highly overlooked. Here, we study gene expression in the pituitary gland of the domesticated White Leghorn chicken and its wild ancestor, the Red Junglefowl. By overlapping differentially expressed genes with a previously published list of functionally important genes in the pituitary gland, we narrowed down to 34 genes. Amongst them, expression levels of genes with inhibitory function on pigmentation (ASIP), main stimulators of metabolism and sexual maturity (TSHB and DIO2), and a potential inhibitor of broodiness (PRLR), were higher in the domesticated breed. Additionally, expression of 2 key inhibitors of the stress response (NR3C1, CRHR2) was higher in the domesticated breed. We suggest that changes in the transcription of important modulatory genes in the pituitary gland can account not only for domestication of the stress response in domestic chickens, but also for changes in pigmentation, development, and reproduction. Given the pivotal role of the pituitary gland in the regulation of multiple shared domesticated traits, we suggest that similar changes in pituitary transcriptome may contribute to the domesticated phenotype in other species as well.

  • 9.
    Karlsson, Anna-Carin
    et al.
    Linköping University, Department of Physics, Chemistry and Biology, Biology. Linköping University, The Institute of Technology.
    Fallahshahroudi, Amir
    Linköping University, Department of Physics, Chemistry and Biology, Biology. Linköping University, The Institute of Technology.
    Johnsen, Hanna
    Linköping University, Department of Physics, Chemistry and Biology, Biology. Linköping University, The Institute of Technology.
    Hagenblad, Jenny
    Linköping University, Department of Physics, Chemistry and Biology, Biology. Linköping University, The Institute of Technology.
    Wright, Dominic
    Linköping University, Department of Physics, Chemistry and Biology, Biology. Linköping University, The Institute of Technology.
    Andersson, Leif
    Department of Medical Biochemistry and Microbiology, Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden.
    Jensen, Per
    Linköping University, Department of Physics, Chemistry and Biology, Biology. Linköping University, The Institute of Technology.
    The effect of a domestication related mutation in the thyroid stimulating hormone receptor (TSHR) on photoperiodic response and reproduction in chickenManuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    The thyroid stimulating hormone receptor (TSHR) has been suggested to be a “domestication locus” in the chicken. A strong selective sweep over the gene in domestic breeds of chicken, but not in the ancestral Red Junglefowl, and significant effects of a mutation in TSHR on domestication related traits in chicken, indicate that the gene has been important for the chicken domestication. The TSHR play a key role in the signal transduction of seasonal reproduction, which is characteristically less strict in domestic animals. We investigated the effect of the mutation on reproductive traits as well as TSHB, TSHR, DIO2 and DIO3 gene expression during altered day length (photoperiod) in females and males intercross chickens homozygous for the mutation (d/d) or wild type homozygotes (w/w). This allowed an assessment of the effect of genotype at this locus against a random mix of RJF and WL genotypes throughout the rest of the genome. The TSHR gene expression was significantly lower in both d/d females and males, in comparison to w/w individuals, indicating a strong effect of the “domestic” mutation on gene expression. The d/d females showed a faster increase in the onset of laying than w/w females, and d/d males showed a reduced response to altered day length in testicular size and significant lower levels of TSHB and DIO3 expression, in comparison to w/w males. Additionally, pure White Leghorn females kept under natural day length in Sweden during December showed active ovaries and significant lower levels of TSHR and DIO3 expression in comparison to Red Junglefowl females kept under similar conditions. Our study suggest that the TSHR mutation affects photoperiodic response in chicken in the direction of being less dependent on seasonal reproduction, a typical domestication feature, and may therefore have been important for the chicken domestication.

  • 10.
    Karlsson, Anna-Carin
    et al.
    Linköping University, Department of Physics, Chemistry and Biology, Biology. Linköping University, Faculty of Science & Engineering.
    Fallahsharoudi, Amir
    Linköping University, Department of Physics, Chemistry and Biology, Biology. Linköping University, Faculty of Science & Engineering.
    Johnsen, Hanna
    Linköping University, Department of Physics, Chemistry and Biology, Biology. Linköping University, Faculty of Science & Engineering.
    Hagenblad, Jenny
    Linköping University, Department of Physics, Chemistry and Biology, Biology. Linköping University, Faculty of Science & Engineering.
    Wright, Dominic
    Linköping University, Department of Physics, Chemistry and Biology, Biology. Linköping University, Faculty of Science & Engineering.
    Andersson, Leif
    Department of Medical Biochemistry and Microbiology, Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden.
    Jensen, Per
    Linköping University, Department of Physics, Chemistry and Biology, Biology. Linköping University, Faculty of Science & Engineering.
    A domestication related mutation in the thyroid stimulating hormonereceptor gene (TSHR) modulates photoperiodic response andreproduction in chickens2016In: General and Comparative Endocrinology, ISSN 0016-6480, E-ISSN 1095-6840, Vol. 228, p. 69-78Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The thyroid stimulating hormone receptor gene (TSHR) has been suggested to be a ‘‘domestication locus”in the chicken. A strong selective sweep over TSHR in domestic breeds together with significant effects ofa mutation in the gene on several domestication related traits, indicate that the gene has been importantfor chicken domestication. TSHR plays a key role in the signal transduction of seasonal reproduction,which is characteristically less strict in domestic animals. We used birds from an advanced intercross linebetween ancestral Red Junglefowl (RJF) and domesticated White Leghorn (WL) to investigate effects ofthe mutation on reproductive traits as well as on TSHB, TSHR, DIO2 and DIO3 gene expression duringaltered day length (photoperiod). We bred chickens homozygous for either the mutation (d/d) or wildtype allele (w/w), allowing assessment of the effect of genotype at this locus while also controlling forbackground variation in the rest of the genome. TSHR gene expression in brain was significantly lowerin both d/d females and males and d/d females showed a faster onset of egg laying at sexual maturity thanw/w. Furthermore, d/d males showed a reduced testicular size response to decreased day length, andlower levels of TSHB and DIO3 expression. Additionally, purebred White Leghorn females kept under naturalshort day length in Sweden during December had active ovaries and lower levels of TSHR and DIO3expression compared to Red Junglefowl females kept under similar conditions. Our study indicates thatthe TSHR mutation affects photoperiodic response in chicken by reducing dependence of seasonal reproduction,a typical domestication feature, and may therefore have been important for chickendomestication.

  • 11.
    Løtvedt, Pia
    et al.
    Linköping University, Department of Physics, Chemistry and Biology, Biology. Linköping University, Faculty of Science & Engineering.
    Fallahshahroudi, Amir
    Linköping University, Department of Physics, Chemistry and Biology, Biology. Linköping University, Faculty of Science & Engineering.
    Bektic, Lejla
    Linköping University, Department of Physics, Chemistry and Biology, Biology. Linköping University, Faculty of Science & Engineering.
    Altimiras, Jordi
    Linköping University, Department of Physics, Chemistry and Biology, Biology. Linköping University, Faculty of Science & Engineering.
    Jensen, Per
    Linköping University, Department of Physics, Chemistry and Biology, Biology. Linköping University, Faculty of Science & Engineering.
    Chicken domestication changes expression of stress-related genes in brain, pituitary and adrenals2017In: Neurobiology of stress, ISSN 2352-2895, Vol. 7, p. 113-121Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Domesticated species have an attenuated behavioral and physiological stress response compared to their wild counterparts, but the genetic mechanisms underlying this change are not fully understood. We investigated gene expression of a panel of stress response-related genes in five tissues known for their involvement in the stress response: hippocampus, hypothalamus, pituitary, adrenal glands and liver of domesticated White Leghorn chickens and compared it with the wild ancestor of all domesticated breeds, the Red Junglefowl. Gene expression was measured both at baseline and after 45 min of restraint stress. Most of the changes in gene expression related to stress were similar to mammals, with an upregulation of genes such as FKBP5, C-FOS and EGR1 in hippocampus and hypothalamus and StAR, MC2R and TH in adrenal glands. We also found a decrease in the expression of CRHR1 in the pituitary of chickens after stress, which could be involved in negative feedback regulation of the stress response. Furthermore, we observed a downregulation of EGR1 and C-FOS in the pituitary following stress, which could be a potential link between stress and its effects on reproduction and growth in chickens. We also found changes in the expression of important genes between breeds such as GR in the hypothalamus, POMC and PC1 in the pituitary and CYP11A1 and HSD3B2 in the adrenal glands. These results suggest that the domesticated White Leghorn may have a higher capacity for negative feedback of the HPA axis, a lower capacity for synthesis of ACTH in the pituitary and a reduced synthesis rate of corticosterone in the adrenal glands compared to Red Junglefowl. All of these findings could explain the attenuated stress response in the domesticated birds.

  • 12.
    Warnefors, Maria
    et al.
    Heidelberg University of ZMBH, Germany.
    Mossinger, Katharina
    Heidelberg University of ZMBH, Germany.
    Halbert, Jean
    University of Lausanne, Switzerland.
    Studer, Tania
    Heidelberg University of ZMBH, Germany.
    VandeBerg, John L.
    University of Texas Rio Grande Valley, TX 78520 USA.
    Lindgren, Isa
    Linköping University, Department of Physics, Chemistry and Biology, Biology. Linköping University, Faculty of Science & Engineering.
    Fallahshahroudi, Amir
    Linköping University, Department of Physics, Chemistry and Biology, Biology. Linköping University, Faculty of Science & Engineering.
    Jensen, Per
    Linköping University, Department of Physics, Chemistry and Biology, Biology. Linköping University, Faculty of Science & Engineering.
    Kaessmann, Henrik
    Heidelberg University of ZMBH, Germany.
    Sex-biased microRNA expression in mammals and birds reveals underlying regulatory mechanisms and a role in dosage compensation2017In: Genome Research, ISSN 1088-9051, E-ISSN 1549-5469, Vol. 27, no 12, p. 1961-1973Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Sexual dimorphism depends on sex-biased gene expression, but the contributions of microRNAs (miRNAs) have not been globally assessed. We therefore produced an extensive small RNA sequencing data set to analyze male and female miRNA expression profiles in mouse, opossum, and chicken. Our analyses uncovered numerous cases of somatic sex-biased miRNA expression, with the largest proportion found in the mouse heart and liver. Sex-biased expression is explained by miRNA-specific regulation, including sex-biased chromatin accessibility at promoters, rather than piggybacking of intronic miRNAs on sex-biased protein-coding genes. In mouse, but not opossum and chicken, sex bias is coordinated across tissues such that autosomal testis-biased miRNAs tend to be somatically male-biased, whereas autosomal ovary-biased miRNAs are female-biased, possibly due to broad hormonal control. In chicken, which has a Z/W sex chromosome system, expression output of genes on the Z Chromosome is expected to be male-biased, since there is no global dosage compensation mechanism that restores expression in ZW females after almost all genes on the W Chromosome decayed. Nevertheless, we found that the dominant liver miRNA, miR-122-5p, is Z-linked but expressed in an unbiased manner, due to the unusual retention of a W-linked copy. Another Z-linked miRNA, the male-biased miR-2954-3p, shows conserved preference for dosage-sensitive genes on the Z Chromosome, based on computational and experimental data from chicken and zebra finch, and acts to equalize male-to-female expression ratios of its targets. Unexpectedly, our findings thus establish miRNA regulation as a novel gene-specific dosage compensation mechanism.

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