Title

The sheep genome illuminates biology of the rumen and lipid metabolism

Authors

Yu Jiang, Kunming Institute of Zoology Chinese Academy of Sciences
Min Xie, BGI-Shenzhen
Wenbin Chen, BGI-Shenzhen
Richard Talbot, The University of Edinburgh
Jillian F. Maddox, Utah State University
Thomas Faraut, INRAE Occitanie-Toulouse
Chunhua Wu, Utah State University
Donna M. Muzny, Baylor College of Medicine
Yuxiang Li, BGI-Shenzhen
Wenguang Zhang, Kunming Institute of Zoology Chinese Academy of Sciences
Jo Ann Stanton, University of Otago
Rudiger Brauning, AgResearch Invermay Agricultural Centre
Wesley C. Barris, Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation Animal Food and Health Sciences
Thibaut Hourlier, Wellcome Sanger Institute
Bronwen L. Aken, Wellcome Sanger Institute
Stephen M.J. Searle, Wellcome Sanger Institute
David L. Adelson, Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation Animal Food and Health Sciences
Chao Bian, BGI-Shenzhen
Graham R. Cam, Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation Animal Food and Health Sciences
Yulin Chen, Northwest A&F University
Shifeng Cheng, BGI-Shenzhen
Udaya DeSilva, Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation Animal Food and Health Sciences
Karen Dixen, Københavns Universitet
Yang Dong, Kunming Institute of Zoology Chinese Academy of Sciences
Guangyi Fan, BGI-Shenzhen
Ian R. Franklin, Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation Animal Food and Health Sciences
Shaoyin Fu, Neimenggu Agricultural University
Pablo Fuentes-Utrilla, The University of Edinburgh
Rui Guan, BGI-Shenzhen
Margaret A. Highland, Animal Disease Research Unit
Michael E. Holder, Baylor College of Medicine
Guodong Huang, BGI-Shenzhen
Aaron B. Ingham, Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation Animal Food and Health Sciences

Abstract

Sheep (Ovis aries) are a major source of meat, milk, and fiber in the form of wool and represent a distinct class of animals that have a specialized digestive organ, the rumen, that carries out the initial digestion of plant material. We have developed and analyzed a high-quality reference sheep genome and transcriptomes from 40 different tissues. We identified highly expressed genes encoding keratin cross-linking proteins associated with rumen evolution. We also identified genes involved in lipid metabolism that had been amplified and/or had altered tissue expression patterns. This may be in response to changes in the barrier lipids of the skin, an interaction between lipid metabolism and wool synthesis, and an increased role of volatile fatty acids in ruminants compared with nonruminant animals.

Publication Title

Science

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