Publications by authors named "Raffaele Mazza"

12 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

Genome assembly and transcriptome resource for river buffalo, Bubalus bubalis (2n = 50).

Gigascience 2017 10;6(10):1-6

National Center for Biotechnology Information, National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD 20894, USA.

Water buffalo is a globally important species for agriculture and local economies. A de novo assembled, well-annotated reference sequence for the water buffalo is an important prerequisite for studying the biology of this species, and is necessary to manage genetic diversity and to use modern breeding and genomic selection techniques. However, no such genome assembly has been previously reported. There are 2 species of domestic water buffalo, the river (2 n = 50) and the swamp (2 n = 48) buffalo. Here we describe a draft quality reference sequence for the river buffalo created from Illumina GA and Roche 454 short read sequences using the MaSuRCA assembler. The assembled sequence is 2.83 Gb, consisting of 366 983 scaffolds with a scaffold N50 of 1.41 Mb and contig N50 of 21 398 bp. Annotation of the genome was supported by transcriptome data from 30 tissues and identified 21 711 predicted protein coding genes. Searches for complete mammalian BUSCO gene groups found 98.6% of curated single copy orthologs present among predicted genes, which suggests a high level of completeness of the genome. The annotated sequence is available from NCBI at accession GCA_000471725.1.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/gigascience/gix088DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5737279PMC
October 2017

Genomic signatures of adaptive introgression from European mouflon into domestic sheep.

Sci Rep 2017 08 8;7(1):7623. Epub 2017 Aug 8.

School of Biosciences, Cardiff University, CF10 3AX, Cardiff, Wales, UK.

Mouflon (Ovis aries musimon) became extinct from mainland Europe after the Neolithic, but remnant populations from the Mediterranean islands of Corsica and Sardinia have been used for reintroductions across Europe since the 19-century. Mouflon x sheep hybrids are larger-bodied than mouflon, potentially showing increased male reproductive success, but little is known about genomic levels of admixture, or about the adaptive significance of introgression between resident mouflon and local sheep breeds. Here we analysed Ovine medium-density SNP array genotypes of 92 mouflon from six geographic regions, along with data from 330 individuals of 16 domestic sheep breeds. We found lower levels of genetic diversity in mouflon than in domestic sheep, consistent with past bottlenecks in mouflon. Introgression signals were bidirectional and affected most mouflon and sheep populations, being strongest in one Sardinian mouflon population. Developing and using a novel approach to identify chromosomal regions with consistent introgression signals, we infer adaptive introgression from mouflon to domestic sheep related to immunity mechanisms, but not in the opposite direction. Further, we infer that Soay and Sarda sheep carry introgressed mouflon alleles involved in bitter taste perception and/or innate immunity. Our results illustrate the potential for adaptive introgression even among recently diverged populations.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41598-017-07382-7DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5548776PMC
August 2017

Identification of candidate genes for paratuberculosis resistance in the native Italian Garfagnina goat breed.

Trop Anim Health Prod 2017 Aug 19;49(6):1135-1142. Epub 2017 May 19.

Department of Veterinary Sciences, University of Pisa, Viale delle Piagge 2, Pisa, Italy.

Paratuberculosis disease is a chronic bacterial disease infection of ruminants of global relevance, caused by MAP (Mycobacterium avium subsp. paratuberculosis). The present study was conducted on the Garfagnina goat breed that is an Italian native goat population registered on the Tuscan regional repertory of genetic resources at risk of extinction. Forty-eight adult goats (27 serologically positive to MAP-positive and 21 serologically negative to MAP-negative) belonging to a single flock that had experienced annual mortalities due to MAP infection were identified and genotyped with the Illumina GoatSNP60 BeadChip. Diagnosis was achieved by serological tests, as well as post-mortem examination of affected animals. A genome-wide scan was then performed on the individual marker genotypes, in an attempt to identify genomic regions associated with MAP infection disease. Nine significant markers were highlighted and they were located within, or nearby, annotated genes. Two genes found in this study encode are linked to protein kinases that are among the most important enzymes involved in the immune response to Johne's disease, and four genes are involved in the functions of the Golgi complex.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11250-017-1306-8DOI Listing
August 2017

Genetic diversity of Italian goat breeds assessed with a medium-density SNP chip.

Genet Sel Evol 2015 Aug 4;47:62. Epub 2015 Aug 4.

DIVET, Università degli Studi di Milano, via Celoria 10, 20133, Milan, Italy.

Background: Among the European countries, Italy counts the largest number of local goat breeds. Thanks to the recent availability of a medium-density SNP (single nucleotide polymorphism) chip for goat, the genetic diversity of Italian goat populations was characterized by genotyping samples from 14 Italian goat breeds that originate from different geographical areas with more than 50 000 SNPs evenly distributed on the genome.

Results: Analysis of the genotyping data revealed high levels of genetic polymorphism and an underlying North-south geographic pattern of genetic diversity that was highlighted by both the first dimension of the multi-dimensional scaling plot and the Neighbour network reconstruction. We observed a moderate and weak population structure in Northern and Central-Southern breeds, respectively, with pairwise FST values between breeds ranging from 0.013 to 0.164 and 7.49 % of the total variance assigned to the between-breed level. Only 2.11 % of the variance explained the clustering of breeds into geographical groups (Northern, Central and Southern Italy and Islands).

Conclusions: Our results indicate that the present-day genetic diversity of Italian goat populations was shaped by the combined effects of drift, presence or lack of gene flow and, to some extent, by the consequences of traditional management systems and recent demographic history. Our findings may constitute the starting point for the development of marker-assisted approaches, to better address future breeding and management policies in a species that is particularly relevant for the medium- and long-term sustainability of marginal regions.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12711-015-0140-6DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4523021PMC
August 2015

Gut response induced by weaning in piglet features marked changes in immune and inflammatory response.

Funct Integr Genomics 2014 Dec 9;14(4):657-71. Epub 2014 Sep 9.

Istituto di Zootecnica, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Piacenza, Italy,

At weaning, piglets are exposed to many stressors, such as separation from the sow, mixing with other litters, end of lactational immunity, and a change in their environment and gut microbiota. The sudden change of feeding regime after weaning causes morphological and histological changes in the small intestine which are critical for the immature digestive system. Sixteen female piglets were studied to assess the effect of sorbic acid supplementation on the small intestine tissue transcriptome. At weaning day (T0, piglet age 28 days), four piglets were sacrificed and ileal tissue samples collected. The remaining 12 piglets were weighed and randomly assigned to different postweaning (T5, piglet age 33 days) diets. Diet A (n = 6) contained 5 g/kg of sorbic acid. In diet B (n = 6), the organic acids were replaced by barley flour. Total RNA was isolated and then hybridized to CombiMatrix CustomArray™ 90-K platform microarrays, screening about 30 K genes. Even though diet had no detectable effect on the transcriptome during the first 5 days after weaning, results highlighted some of the response mechanisms to the stress of weaning occurring in the piglet gut. A total of 205 differentially expressed genes were used for functional analysis using the bioinformatics tools BLAST2GO, Ingenuity Pathway Analysis 8.0, and Dynamic Impact Approach (DIA). Bioinformatic analysis revealed that apoptosis, RIG-I-like, and NOD-like receptor signaling were altered as a result of weaning. Interferons and caspases gene families were the most activated after weaning in response to piglets to multiple stressors. Results suggest that immune and inflammatory responses were activated and likely are a cause of small intestine atrophy as revealed by a decrease in villus height and villus/crypt ratio.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10142-014-0396-xDOI Listing
December 2014

Imputation of microsatellite alleles from dense SNP genotypes for parentage verification across multiple Bos taurus and Bos indicus breeds.

Front Genet 2013 18;4:176. Epub 2013 Sep 18.

Bovine Functional Genomics Laboratory, BARC, Agriculture Research Service, United States Department of Agriculture Beltsville, MD, USA.

To assist cattle producers transition from microsatellite (MS) to single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) genotyping for parental verification we previously devised an effective and inexpensive method to impute MS alleles from SNP haplotypes. While the reported method was verified with only a limited data set (N = 479) from Brown Swiss, Guernsey, Holstein, and Jersey cattle, some of the MS-SNP haplotype associations were concordant across these phylogenetically diverse breeds. This implied that some haplotypes predate modern breed formation and remain in strong linkage disequilibrium. To expand the utility of MS allele imputation across breeds, MS and SNP data from more than 8000 animals representing 39 breeds (Bos taurus and B. indicus) were used to predict 9410 SNP haplotypes, incorporating an average of 73 SNPs per haplotype, for which alleles from 12 MS markers could be accurately be imputed. Approximately 25% of the MS-SNP haplotypes were present in multiple breeds (N = 2 to 36 breeds). These shared haplotypes allowed for MS imputation in breeds that were not represented in the reference population with only a small increase in Mendelian inheritance inconsistancies. Our reported reference haplotypes can be used for any cattle breed and the reported methods can be applied to any species to aid the transition from MS to SNP genetic markers. While ~91% of the animals with imputed alleles for 12 MS markers had ≤1 Mendelian inheritance conflicts with their parents' reported MS genotypes, this figure was 96% for our reference animals, indicating potential errors in the reported MS genotypes. The workflow we suggest autocorrects for genotyping errors and rare haplotypes, by MS genotyping animals whose imputed MS alleles fail parentage verification, and then incorporating those animals into the reference dataset.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fgene.2013.00176DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3776237PMC
September 2013

The nutrigenomic investigation of C57BL/6N mice fed a short-term high-fat diet highlights early changes in clock genes expression.

Genes Nutr 2013 Sep 16;8(5):465-74. Epub 2013 Apr 16.

Centro Ricerche Biotecnologiche, Istituto di Microbiologia, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, via Milano 24, 26100, Cremona, Italy,

Mice fed long-term high-fat diets (HFD) are an established model for human metabolic disorders, such as obesity and diabetes. However, also the effects of short-term HFD feeding should be investigated to understand which are the first events that trigger the onset of a pre-disease condition, the so-called metabolic syndrome, that increases the risk of developing clinical diseases. In this study, C57BL/6N mice were fed a control diet (CTR) or a HFD for 1 (T1) or 2 weeks (T2). Metabolic and histological effects were examined. Cecum transcriptomes of HFD and CTR mice were compared at T2 by microarray analysis. Differentially expressed genes were validated by real-time PCR in the cecum and in the liver. After 2 weeks of diet administration, HFD mice showed an altered expression pattern in only seven genes, four of which are involved in the circadian clock regulatory pathway. Real-time PCR confirmed microarray results of the cecum and revealed the same trend of clock gene expression changes in the liver. These findings suggest that clock genes may play an important role in early controlling gut output systems in response to HFD in mice and that their expression change may also represent an early signaling of the development of an intestinal pro-inflammatory status.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s12263-013-0344-8DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3755136PMC
September 2013

Recent advance in DNA-based traceability and authentication of livestock meat PDO and PGI products.

Recent Pat Food Nutr Agric 2013 Apr;5(1):9-18

Università degli Studi di Milano, Dipartimento di Scienze Veterinarie e Sanità Pubblica, Via Celoria 10, 20133 Milano, Italy.

This review updates the available molecular techniques and technologies and discusses how they can be used for traceability, food control and enforcement activities. The review also provides examples on how molecular techniques succeeded to trace back unknowns to their breeds of origin, to fingerprint single individuals and to generate evidence in court cases. The examples demonstrate the potential of the DNA based traceability techniques and explore possibilities for translating the next generation genomics tools into a food and feed control and enforcement framework.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.2174/2212798411305010004DOI Listing
April 2013

The other side of comparative genomics: genes with no orthologs between the cow and other mammalian species.

BMC Genomics 2009 Dec 14;10:604. Epub 2009 Dec 14.

Istituto di Zootecnica, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, 29100 Piacenza, Italy.

Background: With the rapid growth in the availability of genome sequence data, the automated identification of orthologous genes between species (orthologs) is of fundamental importance to facilitate functional annotation and studies on comparative and evolutionary genomics. Genes with no apparent orthologs between the bovine and human genome may be responsible for major differences between the species, however, such genes are often neglected in functional genomics studies.

Results: A BLAST-based method was exploited to explore the current annotation and orthology predictions in Ensembl. Genes with no orthologs between the two genomes were classified into groups based on alignments, ontology, manual curation and publicly available information. Starting from a high quality and specific set of orthology predictions, as provided by Ensembl, hidden relationship between genes and genomes of different mammalian species were unveiled using a highly sensitive approach, based on sequence similarity and genomic comparison.

Conclusions: The analysis identified 3,801 bovine genes with no orthologs in human and 1010 human genes with no orthologs in cow, among which 411 and 43 genes, respectively, had no match at all in the other species. Most of the apparently non-orthologous genes may potentially have orthologs which were missed in the annotation process, despite having a high percentage of identity, because of differences in gene length and structure. The comparative analysis reported here identified gene variants, new genes and species-specific features and gave an overview of the other side of orthology which may help to improve the annotation of the bovine genome and the knowledge of structural differences between species.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/1471-2164-10-604DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2808326PMC
December 2009

The genome sequence of taurine cattle: a window to ruminant biology and evolution.

Science 2009 Apr;324(5926):522-8

To understand the biology and evolution of ruminants, the cattle genome was sequenced to about sevenfold coverage. The cattle genome contains a minimum of 22,000 genes, with a core set of 14,345 orthologs shared among seven mammalian species of which 1217 are absent or undetected in noneutherian (marsupial or monotreme) genomes. Cattle-specific evolutionary breakpoint regions in chromosomes have a higher density of segmental duplications, enrichment of repetitive elements, and species-specific variations in genes associated with lactation and immune responsiveness. Genes involved in metabolism are generally highly conserved, although five metabolic genes are deleted or extensively diverged from their human orthologs. The cattle genome sequence thus provides a resource for understanding mammalian evolution and accelerating livestock genetic improvement for milk and meat production.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1126/science.1169588DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2943200PMC
April 2009

Detection of QTL for milk protein percentage in Italian Friesian cattle by AFLP markers and selective genotyping.

J Dairy Res 2008 Nov 14;75(4):430-8. Epub 2008 Aug 14.

Istituto di Zootecnica, Facoltà di Agraria, Università Cattolica del S. Cuore, Piacenza, Italy.

We targeted quantitative trait loci (QTL) for milk protein percentage (P%) in two Italian Holstein granddaughter design families using selective genotyping in combination with high throughput amplified fragment length polymorphism (AFLP) markers. A total of 64 extreme high and low sires in respect to estimated breeding value (EBV) for P% (EBVP%) were genotyped with 25 AFLP primer combinations that revealed 305 and 291 polymorphisms in the two families. Association between markers and EBVP% was investigated by a linear model only on bands having paternal origin (105 and 96 AFLP bands in family D and S, respectively). Although no marker was significantly associated with the target trait after correction for multiple comparisons, 17 AFLP markers, significant without correction for multiple tests, were considered suggestive of the presence of a QTL. Eleven of these were successfully located on six Bos taurus (BTA) chromosomes by radiation hybrid or in-silico mapping. Ten of these mapped in the immediate neighbourhood (less than 10 cM) of already described QTL for P%. Suggestive association was verified in four regions by microsatellites analysis: one on BTA 10; one on BTA 28; and two on BTA 18. Microsatellites identified significant effects by single marker and interval mapping analyses on BTA 10 and BTA 28, while they were only suggestive of the presence of QTL on BTA 18. In summary, our results firstly indicate that AFLP markers may be used to seek QTL exploiting a selective genotyping approach in GDD, a wide used experimental design in cattle; secondly, propose two approaches for AFLP mapping, namely in-silico mapping exploiting most updated release from the bovine whole genome sequencing project, and physical mapping exploiting a panel of Bovine/Hamster Radiation Hybrids; and thirdly, provide new information on QTLs for an economic important trait in a never investigated Holstein cattle population. AFLP in combination with selective genotyping can be a useful strategy for QTL searching in minor livestock species, sometimes having large economic impact in marginal areas, where more informative markers are still poorly developed.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S0022029908003415DOI Listing
November 2008

Assessing the transfer of genetically modified DNA from feed to animal tissues.

Transgenic Res 2005 Oct;14(5):775-84

Instituto di Agronomia generale e Coltivazioni erbacee, Università Cattolica S. Cuore, Via E. Parmense, 84, Piacenza 29100, Italy.

In Europe, public and scientific concerns about the environmental and food safety of GM (Genetically Modified) crops overshadow the potential benefits offered by crop biotechnology to improve food quality. One of the concerns regarding the use of GM food in human and animal nutrition is the effect that newly introduced sequences may have on the organism. In this paper, we assess the potential transfer of diet-derived DNA to animal tissues after consumption of GM plants. Blood, spleen, liver, kidney and muscle tissues from piglets fed for 35 days with diets containing either GM (MON810) or a conventional maize were investigated for the presence of plant DNA. Only fragments of specific maize genes (Zein, Sh-2) could be detected with different frequencies in all the examined tissues except muscle. A small fragment of the Cry1A(b) transgene was detected in blood, liver, spleen and kidney of the animals raised with the transgenic feed. The intact Cry1A(b) gene or its minimal functional unit were never detected. Statistical analysis of the results showed no difference in recovery of positives for the presence of plant DNA between animals raised with the transgenic feed and animals raised with the conventional feed, indicating that DNA transfer may occur independently from the source and the type of the gene. From the data obtained, we consider it unlikely that the occurrence of genetic transfer associated with GM plants is higher than that from conventional plants.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11248-005-0009-5DOI Listing
October 2005