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BMC Genomics

, 16:60

First Online: 06 February 2015Received: 01 October 2014Accepted: 26 January 2015DOI: 10.1186-s12864-015-1287-9

Cite this article as: Fang, SM., Hu, BL., Zhou, QZ. et al. BMC Genomics 2015 16: 60. doi:10.1186-s12864-015-1287-9


BackgroundBombyx mori was domesticated from the Chinese wild silkworm, Bombyx mandarina. Wild and domestic silkworms are good models in which to investigate genes related to silk protein synthesis that may be differentially expressed in silk glands, because their silk productions are very different. Here we used the mRNA deep sequencing RNA-seq approach to identify the differentially expressed genes DEGs in the transcriptomes of the median-posterior silk glands of two domestic and two wild silkworms.

ResultsThe results indicated that about 58% of the total genes were expressed reads per kilo bases per million reads RPKM ≥ 1 in each silkworm. Comparisons of the domestic and wild silkworm transcriptomes revealed 32 DEGs, of which 16 were up-regulated in the domestic silkworms compared with in the wild silkworms, and the other 16 were up-regulated in the wild silkworms compared with in the domestic silkworms. Quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction qPCR was performed for 15 randomly selected DEGs in domestic versus wild silkworms. The qPCR results were mostly consistent with the expression levels determined from the RNA-seq data. Based on a Gene Ontology GO enrichment analysis and manual annotation, five of the up-regulated DEGs in the wild silkworms were predicted to be involved in immune response, and seven of the up-regulated DEGs were related to the GO term -oxidoreductase activity-, which is associated with antioxidant systems. In the domestic silkworms, the up-regulated DEGs were related mainly to tissue development, secretion of proteins and metabolism.

ConclusionsThe up-regulated DEGs in the two domestic silkworms may be involved mainly in the highly efficient biosynthesis and secretion of silk proteins, while the up-regulated DEGs in the two wild silkworms may play more important roles in tolerance to pathogens and environment adaptation. Our results provide a foundation for understanding the molecular mechanisms of the silk production difference between domestic and wild silkworms.

KeywordsBombyx mori Domestication Silk gland RNA-seq Differentially expressed gene AbbreviationsRPKMReads Per Kilo bases per Million reads

DEGsDifferentially expressed genes

M-PSGmedian-posterior silk gland

GOGene Ontology

KEGGKyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes

Shou-Min Fang and Bi-Li Hu contributed equally to this work.

Electronic supplementary materialThe online version of this article doi:10.1186-s12864-015-1287-9 contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.

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Autor: Shou-Min Fang - Bi-Li Hu - Qiu-Zhong Zhou - Quan-You Yu - Ze Zhang


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