Sequencing and Characterization of Divergent Marbling Levels in the Beef Cattle (Longissimus dorsi Muscle) Transcriptome

  • Chen, Dong (College of Animal Science and Technology, China Agricultural University) ;
  • Li, Wufeng (College of Life Science, Shanxi Agriculture University) ;
  • Du, Min (Department of Animal Sciences, Washington State University) ;
  • Wu, Meng (Snowdragon Beef Co., Ltd.) ;
  • Cao, Binghai (College of Animal Science and Technology, China Agricultural University)
  • Received : 2014.05.24
  • Accepted : 2014.08.25
  • Published : 2015.02.01


Marbling is an important trait regarding the quality of beef. Analysis of beef cattle transcriptome and its expression profile data are essential to extend the genetic information resources and would support further studies on beef cattle. RNA sequencing was performed in beef cattle using the Illumina High-Seq2000 platform. Approximately 251.58 million clean reads were generated from a high marbling (H) group and low marbling (L) group. Approximately 80.12% of the 19,994 bovine genes (protein coding) were detected in all samples, and 749 genes exhibited differential expression between the H and L groups based on fold change (>1.5-fold, p<0.05). Multiple gene ontology terms and biological pathways were found significantly enriched among the differentially expressed genes. The transcriptome data will facilitate future functional studies on marbling formation in beef cattle and may be applied to improve breeding programs for cattle and closely related mammals.


Marbling;Beef Cattle;Transcriptome;RNA-Sequencing


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