Skeletal muscle growth plays a critical role during porcine muscle development stages. Genome-wide transcriptome analysis reveals that long intergenic non-coding RNAs (lincRNAs) are implicated as crucial regulator involving in epigenetic regulation. However, comprehensive analysis of lincRNAs in embryonic muscle development stages remain still elusive. Here, we investigated the transcriptome profiles of Duroc embryonic muscle tissues from days 33, 65, and 90 of gestation using RNA-seq, and 228 putative lincRNAs were identified. Moreover, these lincRNAs exhibit the characteristics of shorter transcripts length, longer exons, less exon numbers and lower expression level compared with protein-coding transcripts. Expression profile analysis showed that a total of 120 lincRNAs and 2638 mRNAs were differentially expressed. In addition, we also performed quantitative trait locus (QTL) mapping analysis for differentially expressed lincRNAs (DE lincRNAs), 113 of 120 DE lincRNAs were localized on 2200 QTLs, we observed many QTLs involved in growth and meat quality traits. Furthermore, we predicted potential target genes of DE lincRNAs in cis or trans regulation. Gene ontology and pathway analysis reveals that potential targets of DE lincRNAs mostly were enriched in the processes and pathways related to tissue development, MAPK signaling pathway, Wnt signaling pathway, TGF-beta signaling pathway and insulin signaling pathway, which involved in skeletal muscle physiological functions. Based on cluster analysis, co-expression network analysis of DE lincRNAs and their potential target genes indicated that DE lincRNAs highly regulated protein-coding genes associated with skeletal muscle development. In this study, many of the DE lincRNAs may play essential roles in pig muscle growth and muscle mass. Our study provides crucial information for further exploring the molecular mechanisms of lincRNAs during skeletal muscle development.
© 2021. The Author(s).