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Identification of differentially expressed genes associated with breast meat yield of broilers in response to atmospheric ammonia using RNA sequencing

Published by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, St. Joseph, Michigan

Citation:  10th International Livestock Environment Symposium (ILES X)  .(doi:10.13031/iles.18-056)
Authors:   Bao Yi, Liang Chen, Ruqing Zhong, Hongfu Zhang
Keywords:   Ammonia, Breast muscle, Broiler chickens, RNA sequencing

Abstract. High levels of ammonia have adverse effects on growth performance and meat production of broilers, and breast meat growth and yield are critically important in the broiler industry. To date, studies focusing on the negative relationship of atmospheric ammonia and breast development are limited, and the underlying molecular mechanisms remain poorly understood. In this study, ammonia levels of 50 ppm were found to lower slaughter rate and broiler breast meat yield significantly (P < 0.05). To explore the mechanisms that ammonia regulates breast meat yield of broilers, RNA-sequencing was used to compare the transcriptome of broiler breast with different ammonia exposure (50 ppm vs 3 ppm). In total, 129 differentially expressed genes (DEGs) were identified, among which 87 genes were significantly down-regulated and 42 were up-regulated. Bioinformatics analysis suggested that DEGs (such as PDK4, ACSL1, FBXO32) were involved in fatty acid degradation/metabolism and nitrogen metabolism. Functional annotation showed that DEGs were mainly enriched in reactive oxygen species metabolic process and muscle contraction. It can be concluded that decreased meat yield was due to the DEGs participating in the identified enriched biological processes and pathways. This study provides novel insights into transcriptional differences in breast between high- and low-ammonia exposed broilers.

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