De novo assembly, annotation, and characterization of the whole brain transcriptome of male and female Syrian hamsters

Sci Rep. 2017 Jan 10;7:40472. doi: 10.1038/srep40472.


Hamsters are an ideal animal model for a variety of biomedical research areas such as cancer, virology, circadian rhythms, and behavioural neuroscience. The use of hamsters has declined, however, most likely due to the dearth of genetic tools available for these animals. Our laboratory uses hamsters to study acute social stress, and we are beginning to investigate the genetic mechanisms subserving defeat-induced behavioural change. We have been limited, however, by the lack of genetic resources available for hamsters. In this study, we sequenced the brain transcriptome of male and female Syrian hamsters to generate the necessary resources to continue our research. We completed a de novo assembly and after assembly optimization, there were 113,329 transcripts representing 14,530 unique genes. This study is the first to characterize transcript expression in both female and male hamster brains and offers invaluable information to promote understanding of a host of important biomedical research questions for which hamsters are an excellent model.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Brain / metabolism*
  • Cricetinae
  • Female
  • Gene Expression Profiling
  • Gene Expression Regulation
  • Gene Ontology
  • Male
  • Mesocricetus / genetics*
  • Molecular Sequence Annotation*
  • RNA, Messenger / genetics
  • RNA, Messenger / metabolism
  • Sequence Analysis, RNA
  • Transcriptome / genetics*


  • RNA, Messenger