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Mamm Genome. 2010 Dec;21(11-12):592-8. doi: 10.1007/s00335-010-9297-z. Epub 2010 Nov 6.

SNP discovery in the bovine milk transcriptome using RNA-Seq technology.

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IRTA, Genètica i Millora Animal, 191 Alcalde Rovira Roure Av, 25198, Lleida, Spain.


High-throughput sequencing of RNA (RNA-Seq) was developed primarily to analyze global gene expression in different tissues. However, it also is an efficient way to discover coding SNPs. The objective of this study was to perform a SNP discovery analysis in the milk transcriptome using RNA-Seq. Seven milk samples from Holstein cows were analyzed by sequencing cDNAs using the Illumina Genome Analyzer system. We detected 19,175 genes expressed in milk samples corresponding to approximately 70% of the total number of genes analyzed. The SNP detection analysis revealed 100,734 SNPs in Holstein samples, and a large number of those corresponded to differences between the Holstein breed and the Hereford bovine genome assembly Btau4.0. The number of polymorphic SNPs within Holstein cows was 33,045. The accuracy of RNA-Seq SNP discovery was tested by comparing SNPs detected in a set of 42 candidate genes expressed in milk that had been resequenced earlier using Sanger sequencing technology. Seventy of 86 SNPs were detected using both RNA-Seq and Sanger sequencing technologies. The KASPar Genotyping System was used to validate unique SNPs found by RNA-Seq but not observed by Sanger technology. Our results confirm that analyzing the transcriptome using RNA-Seq technology is an efficient and cost-effective method to identify SNPs in transcribed regions. This study creates guidelines to maximize the accuracy of SNP discovery and prevention of false-positive SNP detection, and provides more than 33,000 SNPs located in coding regions of genes expressed during lactation that can be used to develop genotyping platforms to perform marker-trait association studies in Holstein cattle.

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