Research Article

Expressed sequenced tags profiling of resistant and susceptible Gyr x Holstein cattle infested with the tick Rhipicephalus (Boophilus) microplus

Abstract

Tick resistance in cattle is mainly found in zebu (Bos indicus) animals, although it is also present in some taurine (B. taurus) breeds. In order to characterize functional genes involved in tick resistance/susceptibility in cattle, two cDNA libraries were generated using skin tissues of selected Holstein x Gyr animals. A total of 2700 high-quality reads from both resistant and susceptible cDNA were assembled into 458 sequences (contigs) and 834 singletons, with a mean size of 447.7 nucleotides. Assignment of homologous proteins by BLASTX revealed 790 (61.1%) and 300 (23.2%) hits in resistant and susceptible cDNA, respectively; 121 of these hits matched bovine proteins. A total of 502 (38.9%) unique sequences were found to have no significant homology with known sequences and were classified as novel sequences. In general, the most abundant sequences consisted of those coding for hypothetical proteins whose function had not yet been determined, in addition to ribosomal proteins, binding proteins and structural proteins, such as keratin and collagen. The most abundant protein found was collagen type III alpha, although ribosomal proteins accounted for half of the 40 most frequent hits. In addition, five matches within the top 40 best hits corresponded to immune response proteins. These sequences could be used for future studies on functional genomics of cattle tick resistance as well as for genomic sequencing projects.

Tick resistance in cattle is mainly found in zebu (Bos indicus) animals, although it is also present in some taurine (B. taurus) breeds. In order to characterize functional genes involved in tick resistance/susceptibility in cattle, two cDNA libraries were generated using skin tissues of selected Holstein x Gyr animals. A total of 2700 high-quality reads from both resistant and susceptible cDNA were assembled into 458 sequences (contigs) and 834 singletons, with a mean size of 447.7 nucleotides. Assignment of homologous proteins by BLASTX revealed 790 (61.1%) and 300 (23.2%) hits in resistant and susceptible cDNA, respectively; 121 of these hits matched bovine proteins. A total of 502 (38.9%) unique sequences were found to have no significant homology with known sequences and were classified as novel sequences. In general, the most abundant sequences consisted of those coding for hypothetical proteins whose function had not yet been determined, in addition to ribosomal proteins, binding proteins and structural proteins, such as keratin and collagen. The most abundant protein found was collagen type III alpha, although ribosomal proteins accounted for half of the 40 most frequent hits. In addition, five matches within the top 40 best hits corresponded to immune response proteins. These sequences could be used for future studies on functional genomics of cattle tick resistance as well as for genomic sequencing projects.