Fescue toxicosis (FT) is the multifaceted syndrome that caused the major loss of revenue in beef industry. The objective of this study was to identify differentially expressed (DE) genes due to difference tolerance level to FT in Angus cows. Forty pregnant purebred Angus cows were selected based on their growth at two locations (high and moderate levels of toxic fescue), and classified as either high tolerant (HT) or low tolerant (LT) to FT with 20 cows in each group balanced by location. Blood samples were collected on weeks 1,5,9, and 13 for RNA sequencing. Normalized gene counts were analysed with a negative binomial model. Genotype-by-environment interaction was evident in the study. There were more DE genes (P < 0.01) between HT and LT animals at one location (high toxic levels; 550) than the other (moderate; 83). At greater toxic level, DE genes were enriched for relevant functions such as cardiac, protein metabolism, stress response, and other metabolic-related functions, supporting that FT has implications on vasoconstriction, immune response, and digestive capacity in cattle. Altogether, the study of blood transcriptomic for FT in beef cattle may be used to identify candidate genes to improve response to FT. Keywords: RNA-seq, host genomics, fescue toxicosis

Piush Khanal, Leticia Sanglard, James Koltes, Jeffrey Sommer, Daniel Poole, Nick Serão

Proceedings of the World Congress on Genetics Applied to Livestock Production, Volume Electronic Poster Session - Biology - Disease Resistance 1, , 702, 2018
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