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Anim Biosci > Accepted Articles
DOI: https://doi.org/10.5713/ajas.20.0237    [Accepted] Published online October 13, 2020.
Transcriptomic analysis of the liver in aged laying hens with different intensity of brown eggshell color
Gi ppeum Han1  , Jun-Mo Kim1  , Hwan Ku Kang2  , Dong Yong Kil1,* 
1Department of Animal Science and Technology, Chung-Ang University, Anseong-si, Gyeonggi-do 17546, Republic of Korea
2Poultry Research Institute, National Institute of Animal Science, Rural Development Administration, Pyeongchang-gun, Gwangwon-do 25342, Republic of Korea
Correspondence:  Dong Yong Kil, Tel: 82-31-670-3028, Fax: 82-31-675-3108, Email: dongyong@cau.ac.kr
Received: 16 April 2020   • Revised: 22 June 2020   • Accepted: 22 September 2020
Eggshell color is an important indicator of egg quality for consumers, especially for brown eggs. Various factors related to laying hens and their environment affect brown eggshell coloration. However, there have been no studies investigating hepatic functions of laying hens with variable intensity of brown eggshell color. Therefore, this study was aimed to identify potential factors affecting brown eggshell coloration in aged laying hens at the hepatic transcriptomic level.
Five hundred 92-wk-old Hy-line Brown laying hens were screened to select laying hens with different intensity of brown eggshell color based on eggshell color fans. Based on eggshell color scores, hens with dark brown eggshells (DBE; eggshell color fan score = 14.8) and hens with light brown eggshells (LBE; eggshell color fan score = 9.7) were finally selected for the liver sampling. We performed RNA-seq analysis using the liver samples through the paired-end sequencing libraries. Differentially expressed genes (DEGs) profiling was carried out to identify their biological meaning by bioinformatics.
A total of 290 DEGs were identified with 196 being up-regulated and 94 being down-regulated in DBE groups as compared to LBE groups. The Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes (KEGG) analysis revealed that these DEGs belong to several biological pathways including herpes simplex infection (TLR3, TAP2, TAP1, CDK1, etc.) and influenza A (TLR3, RSAD2, MX1, etc.). Genes related to stress response (CERKL) and nutrient metabolism (PCK1, MMAB, GLRA2, SLC7A11, etc.) were also identified to be differentially expressed.
The current results provide new insights regarding hepatic molecular functions related to different intensity of brown eggshell color in aged laying hens. These insights will contribute to future studies aiming to optimize brown eggshell coloration in aged laying hens.
Keywords: Aged Laying Hen; Eggshell Color; Liver; Transcriptome

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