Methylome Patterns of Cattle Adaptation to Heat Stress

Marcello Del Corvo, Barbara Lazzari, Emanuele Capra, Ludmilla Zavarez, Marco Milanesi, Yuri Tani Utsunomiya, Adam Taiti Harth Utsunomiya, Alessandra Stella, Guilherme De Paula Nogueira, Josè Fernando Garcia, Paolo Ajmone Marsan

Risultato della ricerca: Contributo in rivistaArticolo in rivistapeer review


Heat stress has a detrimental impact on cattle health, welfare and productivity by affecting gene expression, metabolism and immune response, but little is known on the epigenetic mechanisms mediating the effect of temperature at the cellular and organism level. In this study, we investigated genome-wide DNA methylation in blood samples collected from 5 bulls of the heat stress resilient Nellore breed and 5 bulls of the Angus that are more heat stress susceptible, exposed to the sun and high temperature-high humidity during the summer season of the Brazilian South-East region. The methylomes were analyzed during and after the exposure by Reduced Representation Bisulfite Sequencing, which provided genome-wide single-base resolution methylation profiles. Significant methylation changes between stressful and recovery periods were observed in 819 genes. Among these, 351 were only seen in Angus, 366 were specific to Nellore, and 102 showed significant changes in methylation patterns in both breeds. KEGG and Gene Ontology (GO) enrichment analyses showed that responses were breed-specific. Interestingly, in Nellore significant genes and pathways were mainly involved in stress responses and cellular defense and were under methylated during heat stress, whereas in Angus the response was less focused. These preliminary results suggest that heat challenge induces changes in methylation patterns in specific loci, which should be further scrutinized to assess their role in heat tolerance.
Lingua originaleEnglish
pagine (da-a)N/A-N/A
RivistaFrontiers in Genetics
Stato di pubblicazionePubblicato - 2021


  • DNA methylation
  • animals welfare
  • cattle
  • epigenetics
  • heat stress
  • red blood cell


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