Differential expression of genes characterizing myofibre phenotype

L. S. Nierobisz, K. R.B. Sporer, G. M. Strasburg, K. M. Reed, S. G. Velleman, C. M. Ashwell, J. V. Felts, P. E. Mozdziak

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Skeletal muscle is composed of metabolically heterogeneous myofibres that exhibit high plasticity at both the morphological and transcriptional levels. The objective of this study was to employ microarray analysis to elucidate the differential gene expression between the tonic-'red' anterior latissimus dorsi (ALD) muscle, the phasic-'white' posterior latissimus dorsi (PLD) and 'mixed'-phenotype biceps femoris (BF) in 1-week-and 19-week-old male turkeys. A total of 170 differentially expressed genes were identified in the muscle samples analysed (P < 0.05). Gene GO analysis software was utilized to identify top gene networks and metabolic pathways involving differentially expressed genes. Quantitative real-time PCR for selected genes (BAT2D, CLU, EGFR and LEPROT) was utilized to validate the microarray data. The largest differences were observed between ALD and PLD muscles, in which 32 genes were over-expressed and 82 genes were under-expressed in ALD1-PLD1 comparison, and 70 genes were over-expressed and 70 under-expressed in ALD19-PLD19 comparison. The largest number of genes over-expressed in ALD muscles, as compared to other muscles, code for extracellular matrix proteins such as dystroglycan and collagen. The gene analysis revealed that phenotypically 'red' BF muscle has high expression of glycolytic genes usually associated with the 'white' muscle phenotype. Muscle-specific differences were observed in expression levels of genes coding for proteins involved in mRNA processing and translation regulation, proteosomal degradation, apoptosis and insulin resistance. The current findings may have large implications in muscle-type-related disorders and improvement of muscle quality in agricultural species.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)298-308
Number of pages11
JournalAnimal Genetics
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 2012


  • gene expression
  • microarray
  • muscle phenotype
  • turkey


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