February 04, 2021

Interpretive Summary: Whole-genome bisulfite sequencing of abdominal adipose reveals DNA methylation pattern variations in broiler lines divergently selected for fatness

Interpretive Summary: Whole-genome bisulfite sequencing of abdominal adipose reveals DNA methylation pattern variations in broiler lines divergently selected for fatness

By Anne Zinn

Obesity is a rapidly developing pandemic that impacts humans and animals alike; recently, research on genetic factors related to obesity has shifted towards the roles of epigenetic modifications, such as DNA methylation, in obesity. While the methylation status of pivotal genes involved in fat deposition in chickens has been extensively studied, there is little understanding of the whole-genome DNA methylation profiles of broiler abdominal adipose tissue. A paper recently published in the Journal of Animal Science used whole-genome bisulfite sequencing to generate DNA methylation profiles of chicken abdominal adipose tissue from Northeast Agricultural University broiler lines divergently selected for abdominal fat content. Gong et al. aimed to explore  whether DNA methylation was associated with abdominal fat deposition in broilers.

The present study constructed the whole-genome methylation profiles of adipose tissue in broiler lines divergently selected for abdominal fat content. Results demonstrated that the whole-genome methylation levels of adipose tissue were higher in fat-line broiler. The comprehensive analysis conducted revealed that some key genes and pathways that related to lipid metabolism were regulated by DNA methylation, which could be one of the causes contributed to the sharp difference of abdominal fat trait between the lean and fat lines. This study offers a basis for further exploration of the underlying mechanisms of abdominal adipose deposition in broilers.

The full paper can be found on the Journal of Animal Science website.