Comparative study of 13 candidate genes applying multi-reference normalization to detect the expression of different fineness in skin tissues of wool sheep.
Fiber diameter is a useful indicator of wool traits and it is the main determinant of wool quality and value. A comparative study was conducted to analyze the abundance and expression of 13 candidate genes using expression profile microarray analysis and to identify novel molecular markers associated with wool traits to provide a molecular basis for improving wool quality in sheep. Genes associated with fineness of skin tissue were identified using a real-time reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction method with 18SrRNA, β-Actin, and GAPDH used for multi-reference normalization. The results indicated that the expression levels of TXNIP, TFDP1, and FAIM genes in super-fine type wool sheep were higher than those in fine-type wool sheep; the corresponding expression ratios of super-fine to fine wool sheep were 1.45, 1.57, and 2.55, respectively. The expression levels of PIK3CA, ADAM9, and FZD3 genes were lower in super-fine wool sheep compared with fine-type wool sheep; the corresponding expression ratios were 0.61, 0.65, and 0.52, respectively. The other genes tested (RPS6KA, ABCG2, GSTA1, PTPN13, GJB3, PPARD, and LAMB1) were similarly expressed in both types of wool sheep. These results infer that lower expression of PIK3CA, ADAM9, and FZD3 genes was associated with lower fiber diameter, whereas lower expression of TXNIP, TFDP1, and FAIM genes was associated with higher fiber diameter.