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Gene expression profiles in the pituitary glands of Sichuan White geese during prelaying and laying periods

Author(s): G.L. Gao, X.Z. Zhao, Q. Li, J. Su and Q.G. Wang

To better understand the molecular mechanism(s) underlying egg-laying in Sichuan white geese, the profiles of genes in the pituitary gland were investigated during the prelaying and laying periods. Total RNA was extracted from the pituitary glands of geese during prelaying or laying periods and cDNA was generated. After sequencing and annotation, 54 upregulated and 84 downregulated genes were obtained from gene libraries. These genes were related primarily to biosynthetic processes, cellular nitrogen metabolic processes, transport, cell differentiation, cellular protein modification processes, signal transduction, and small molecule metabolic processes. Eleven genes were selected for further analyses using quantitative real-time PCR, and the results were generally consistent with the profiling results. Among these genes, levels of gonadotropin-releasing hormone, gonadotropin-inhibitory hormone, vasoactive intestinal peptide and its receptor, follistatin, estrogen receptor beta, and the progesterone receptor were differentially overexpressed during the prelaying period compared with the laying period. These results provide a solid foundation for elucidating the molecular mechanism of egg-laying performance in Sichuan white geese.