Genome-Wide Identification and Expression Analysis of the Bone Morphogenetic Protein Family in Hu Sheep
To identify sheep bone morphogenetic protein (BMP) family members at the genome level and to explore their transcriptional changes during estrus. The domains and conserved motifs were identified, and phylogenetic trees were constructed using SMART, PROSITE, MEME, MEGA6.0 software. Bioinformatic analysis of chemical characteristics, gene structure, and transcriptional expression of critical BMP members were detected using real-time qPCR. A total of 29 BMP members were identified and organized into eleven classes. All identified BMP genes shared conserved TGFβ domains. Comparative analyses of the amino acid sequences encoded by these genes revealed that they also contained highly conserved RNA recognition motifs (RRM). Phylogenetic analyses indicated that genes from the same gene class shared high similarity in gene domains and conserved motifs. Real-time qPCR results showed that the BMP genes were mainly expressed in the hypothalamus, pituitary and ovary of both single and twin lambs. Expression of BMP4 and BMP6 in the twin lambs group was higher in the ovary as compared to other tissues (P ˂ 0.05). Genes affecting gonadal axis tissues were analyzed. This study is the first to identify and conduct phylogenetic analysis of the BMP gene family in Sheep systematically. Our results may shed light on additional research that should be conducted related to the identification of candidate genes affecting high yield and fecundity in sheep.