Effects of feeding conditions on gene expression in chicken breast muscle.
Chicken meat quality is becoming increasingly important among breeders and consumers. To understand the effect of feeding conditions on chicken meat quality, we investigated the profiles of genes expressed in chicken breast muscle. Using RNA sequencing, we identified 336, 321, and 387 differentially expressed genes among Chengkou, Daninghe, and Qingjiaoma chickens under scatter- and captivity-feeding conditions. Twenty-two genes differentially expressed between different feeding conditions were shown to be common among the three breeds. Seven of these genes were assessed by real-time quantitative PCR, which confirmed the findings of RNA sequencing and suggested that the results were viable. The differentially expressed genes showed enrichment for a series of significant pathways, including energy metabolism, xenobiotics biodegradation and metabolism, and the immune system. These results provide a solid foundation for elucidating the molecular mechanisms underlying chicken meat quality.