Drivers of plateau adaptability in cashmere goats revealed by genomic and transcriptomic analyses

BMC Genomics. 2023 Aug 1;24(1):428. doi: 10.1186/s12864-023-09333-1.


Background: The adaptive evolution of plateau indigenous animals is a current research focus. However, phenotypic adaptation is complex and may involve the interactions between multiple genes or pathways, many of which remain unclear. As a kind of livestock with important economic value, cashmere goat has a high ability of plateau adaptation, which provides us with good materials for studying the molecular regulation mechanism of animal plateau adaptation.

Results: In this study, 32 Jiangnan (J) and 32 Tibetan (T) cashmere goats were sequenced at an average of 10. Phylogenetic, population structure, and linkage disequilibrium analyses showed that natural selection or domestication has resulted in obvious differences in genome structure between the two breeds. Subsequently, 553 J vs. T and 608 T vs. J potential selected genes (PSGs) were screened. These PSGs showed potential relationships with various phenotypes, including myocardial development and activity (LOC106502520, ATP2A2, LOC102181869, LOC106502520, MYL2, ISL1, and LOC102181869 genes), pigmentation (MITF and KITLG genes), hair follicles/hair growth (YAP1, POGLUT1, AAK1, HES1, WNT1, PRKAA1, TNKS, WNT5A, VAX2, RSPO4, CSNK1G1, PHLPP2, CHRM2, PDGFRB, PRKAA1, MAP2K1, IRS1, LPAR1, PTEN, PRLR, IBSP, CCNE2, CHAD, ITGB7, TEK, JAK2, and FGF21 genes), and carcinogenesis (UBE2R2, PIGU, DIABLO, NOL4L, STK3, MAP4, ADGRG1, CDC25A, DSG3, LEPR, PRKAA1, IKBKB, and ABCG2 genes). Phenotypic analysis showed that Tibetan cashmere goats has finer cashmere than Jiangnan cashmere goats, which may allow cashmere goats to better adapt to the cold environment in the Tibetan plateau. Meanwhile, KRTs and KAPs expression in Jiangnan cashmere goat skin was significantly lower than in Tibetan cashmere goat.

Conclusions: The mutations in these PSGs maybe closely related to the plateau adaptation ability of cashmere goats. In addition, the expression differences of KRTs and KAPs may directly determine phenotypic differences in cashmere fineness between the two breeds. In conclusion, this study provide a reference for further studying plateau adaptive mechanism in animals and goat breeding.

Keywords: Gene expression and PSGs; Genetic; Plateau adaptability; Tibetan and jiangnan cashmere goats.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Genome
  • Genomics
  • Goats*
  • Hair Follicle / metabolism
  • Phylogeny
  • Transcriptome*