Publications by authors named "Xinheng Zhang"

38 Publications

Epidemiological investigations and locally determined genotype diversity of Mycoplasma synoviae in Central China from 2017 to 2019.

Poult Sci 2021 Oct 10;101(1):101522. Epub 2021 Oct 10.

College of Animal Science, South China Agricultural University, Guangzhou 510642, PR China.

Mycoplasma synoviae (M. synoviae) has been identified worldwide to cause respiratory diseases, infectious synovitis, airsacculitis, and eggshell apex abnormalities (EAA) in commercial chickens, which results in substantial economic losses to the poultry industry. Therefore, in this study, 258 flocks were investigated between 2017 and 2019 for M. synoviae by screening samples from Central China. Subsequently, 129 M. synoviae strains were isolated, with a positive rate of 50%. Moreover, a higher incidence of M. Synoviae infections was in layers (74.1%) than in broilers (20%) in this study. The 5'-end conserved segment of the variable lipoprotein hemagglutinin A (vlhA) gene of these isolates was then cloned and sequenced because it is a common genomic target identified so far for M. synoviae genotyping. Genotyping of all isolates was based on the phylogenetic analysis and length analysis of the proline-rich-repeat (PRR) regions, respectively. Phylogenetic analysis based on 5'-end conserved segment of the vlhA gene (76-421 nt) assigned the majority of the occurring strains as being from group 6, and others from groups 2 and 3. Results identified that these isolates were of 6 types: A (38aa), D (23aa), E (19aa), I (28aa), J (20aa), and L (35aa), based on the size of the PRR region analysis. Furthermore, most of the isolates (81.4% were identified as type L. Additionally, the epidemic types included only I and L in 2017; however, the types rose to 5 (A, D, E, I, L) in 2018 and rose to 6 (A, D, E, I, J, L) in 2019. These data showed the genotype diversity of M. synoviae in Central China. The high rate of positive flocks suggests the urgent need to take real-time supervisory controls of this Mycoplasma species in avian flocks.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.psj.2021.101522DOI Listing
October 2021

gga-miR-200b-3p promotes avian leukosis virus subgroup J replication via targeting dual-specificity phosphatase 1.

Vet Microbiol 2021 Nov 11;264:109278. Epub 2021 Nov 11.

College of Animal Science, South China Agricultural University, Guangzhou, 510642, PR China; Guangdong Provincial Key Lab of Agro-Animal Genomics and Molecular Breeding and Key Laboratory of Chicken Genetics, Breeding and Reproduction, Ministry of Agriculture, Guangzhou, Guangdong 510642, PR China. Electronic address:

MicroRNAs (miRNAs) involved host-virus interaction, affecting the replication or pathogenesis of several viruses. Although avian leukosis virus subgroup J (ALV-J) has been one of the most studied avian viruses, the effects of various host miRNAs on ALV-J infection and its underlying molecular mechanisms are still unclear. Here, we reported that gga-miR-200b-3p acts as a positive host factor enhancing ALV-J replication. We found that gga-miR-200b-3p was increased in response to ALV-J infection in host cells, and that gga-miR-200b-3p effectively enhanced ALV-J replication via targeting host protein dual-specificity phosphatase 1 (DUSP1). Collectively, these findings highlight a crucial role of gga-miR-200b-3p in ALV-J replication.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.vetmic.2021.109278DOI Listing
November 2021

Characterization of Pasteurella multocida isolated from ducks in China from 2017 to 2019.

Microb Pathog 2021 Nov 15;160:105196. Epub 2021 Sep 15.

College of Animal Science, South China Agricultural University, Guangzhou, China. Electronic address:

Pasteurella multocida, an important gram-negative pathogen that mainly inhibits the upper respiratory tracts of domestic and wild animals such as chicken, duck, cattle and pig, which can cause cholera fowl, haemorrhagic septicaemia and infectious pneumonia. Currently, the prevalence and infection of P.multocida is still one of the most serious threats to the poultry industry in China, but studies on its characteristics are still insufficient. Here, this study was conducted to isolate and identify P.multocida in infected ducks and determined the leading serotypes and epidemiology of the diseases this pathogen causes. Results indicated that all the isolates were positive for KMT1 gene and the PCR amplified products were approximately 460 bp, demonstrating that these strains were all P.multocida. Moreover, all the isolated strains were identified as capsular type A and lipopolysaccharide type L1. Virulence factor identification results revealed that all strains possessed genes related to pili, adhesin, iron metabolism and uptake. In contrast, toxin coding gene (toxA) and sialidase encodes genes (nan B and nan H) were not detected in any isolates. The drug susceptibility results indicated that all the isolates were resistant to Lincomycin, Chloramphenicol, Clindamycin and Oxacillin but were sensitive to Ceftriaxone and Cefalotin. The animal experiments were also performed to further determine the pathogenicity of these isolated strains. Animal experiment revealed that the liver, kidney, and heart of infected ducks were swollen and had bleeding spots. We also observed hepatocyte hypertrophy, hepatic sinus congestion and single-cell infiltration in infected ducks through H&E staining. In summary, this study demonstrated that all the isolated strains belong to capsular A and lipopolysaccharide type L1 P.multocida, but their virulence factors, drug resistance and pathogenicity were different.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.micpath.2021.105196DOI Listing
November 2021

Assessment of intramyocardial hemorrhage with dark-blood T2*-weighted cardiovascular magnetic resonance.

J Cardiovasc Magn Reson 2021 07 15;23(1):88. Epub 2021 Jul 15.

Department of Biomedical Sciences, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Biomedical Imaging Research Institute, PACT Bldg - Suite 400, 8700 Beverly Blvd, Los Angeles, CA, USA.

Background: Intramyocardial hemorrhage (IMH) within myocardial infarction (MI) is associated with major adverse cardiovascular events. Bright-blood T2*-based cardiovascular magnetic resonance (CMR) has emerged as the reference standard for non-invasive IMH detection. Despite this, the dark-blood T2*-based CMR is becoming interchangeably used with bright-blood T2*-weighted CMR in both clinical and preclinical settings for IMH detection. To date however, the relative merits of dark-blood T2*-weighted with respect to bright-blood T2*-weighted CMR for IMH characterization has not been studied. We investigated the diagnostic capacity of dark-blood T2*-weighted CMR against bright-blood T2*-weighted CMR for IMH characterization in clinical and preclinical settings.

Materials And Methods: Hemorrhagic MI patients (n = 20) and canines (n = 11) were imaged in the acute and chronic phases at 1.5 and 3 T with dark- and bright-blood T2*-weighted CMR. Imaging characteristics (Relative signal-to-noise (SNR), Relative contrast-to-noise (CNR), IMH Extent) and diagnostic performance (sensitivity, specificity, accuracy, area-under-the-curve, and inter-observer variability) of dark-blood T2*-weighted CMR for IMH characterization were assessed relative to bright-blood T2*-weighted CMR.

Results: At both clinical and preclinical settings, compared to bright-blood T2*-weighted CMR, dark-blood T2*-weighted images had significantly lower SNR, CNR and reduced IMH extent (all p < 0.05). Dark-blood T2*-weighted CMR also demonstrated weaker sensitivity, specificity, accuracy, and inter-observer variability compared to bright-blood T2*-weighted CMR (all p < 0.05). These observations were consistent across infarct age and imaging field strengths.

Conclusion: While IMH can be visible on dark-blood T2*-weighted CMR, the overall conspicuity of IMH is significantly reduced compared to that observed in bright-blood T2*-weighted images, across infarct age in clinical and preclinical settings at 1.5 and 3 T. Hence, bright-blood T2*-weighted CMR would be preferable for clinical use since dark-blood T2*-weighted CMR carries the potential to misclassify hemorrhagic MIs as non-hemorrhagic MIs.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12968-021-00787-4DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8281666PMC
July 2021

The Efficacy of a Live Attenuated TW I-Type Infectious Bronchitis Virus Vaccine Candidate.

Virol Sin 2021 Jul 12. Epub 2021 Jul 12.

Lingnan Guangdong Laboratory of Modern Agriculture, College of Animal Science, South China Agricultural University, Guangzhou, 510642, China.

Infectious bronchitis (IB) is a highly contagious avian disease caused by infection with infectious bronchitis virus (IBV), which seriously affects the development of the global poultry industry. The distribution of TW I-type IBV in China has increased in recent years, becoming a widespread genotype. We previously isolated a TW I-type IBV strain termed CK/CH/GD/GZ14 in 2014, but its pathogenicity and possibility for vaccine development were not explored. Therefore, this research aimed to develop a live-attenuated virus vaccine based on the CK/CH/GD/GZ14 strain. The wild type IBV CK/CH/GD/GZ14 strain was serially passaged in SPF embryos for 145 generations. The morbidity and mortality rate of wild-type strain in 14 day-old chickens is 100% and 80% respectively, while the morbidity rate in the attenuated strain was 20% in the 95th and 105th generations and there was no death. Histopathological observations showed that the pathogenicity of the 95th and 105th generations in chickens was significantly weakened. Further challenge experiments confirmed that the attenuated CK/CH/GD/GZ14 strain in the 95th and 105th generations could resist CK/CH/GD/GZ14 (5th generation) infection and the protection rate was 80%. Tracheal cilia stagnation, virus shedding, and viral load experiments confirmed that the 95th and 105th generations provide good immune protection in chickens, and the immunogenicity of the 105th generation is better than that of the 95th generation. These data suggest that the attenuated CK/CH/GD/GZ14 strain in the 105th generation may be applied as a vaccine candidate against TW I-type IBV.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s12250-021-00419-2DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8273854PMC
July 2021

The Effect of the Antimicrobial Peptide Plectasin on the Growth Performance, Intestinal Health, and Immune Function of Yellow-Feathered Chickens.

Front Vet Sci 2021 23;8:688611. Epub 2021 Jun 23.

Lingnan Guangdong Laboratory of Modern Agriculture, College of Animal Science, South China Agricultural University, Guangzhou, China.

The goal of the study was to test the effects of an antibiotic substitute, plectasin, on the growth performance, immune function, intestinal morphology and structure, intestinal microflora, ileal mucosal layer construction and tight junctions, ileal immune-related cytokines, and blood biochemical indices of yellow-feathered chickens. A total of 1,500 one-day-old yellow-feathered chicks were randomly divided into four dietary treatment groups with five replicates in each group and 75 yellow-feathered chicks in each replication, as follows: basal diet (group A); basal diet supplemented with 10 mg enramycin/kg of diet (group B), basal diet supplemented with 100 mg plectasin/kg of diet (group C), and basal diet supplemented with 200 mg plectasin/kg of diet (group D). It was found that the dietary antimicrobial peptide plectasin could improve the ADG and had better F/G for the overall period of 1-63 days. Dietary plectasin can enhance H9N2 avian influenza virus (AIV) and Newcastle disease virus (NDV) antibody levels of yellow-feathered chickens at 21, and 35 days of age. Dietary plectasin can enhance the intestine structure, inhibit and proinflammatory cytokines in the ileum, and ameliorate the blood biochemical indices of yellow-feathered chickens at 21 days of age. This study indicates that the antimicrobial peptide plectasin has beneficial effects on the growth performance, intestinal health and immune function of yellow-feathered chickens.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fvets.2021.688611DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8260853PMC
June 2021

Differential DNA Methylation and Gene Expression Between ALV-J-Positive and ALV-J-Negative Chickens.

Front Vet Sci 2021 31;8:659840. Epub 2021 May 31.

Guangdong Provincial Key Lab of AgroAnimal Genomics and Molecular Breeding, College of Animal Science, South China Agricultural University, Guangzhou, China.

Avian leukosis virus subgroup J (ALV-J) is an oncogenic virus that causes serious economic losses in the poultry industry; unfortunately, there is no effective vaccine against ALV-J. DNA methylation plays a crucial role in several biological processes, and an increasing number of diseases have been proven to be related to alterations in DNA methylation. In this study, we screened ALV-J-positive and -negative chickens. Subsequently, we generated and provided the genome-wide gene expression and DNA methylation profiles by MeDIP-seq and RNA-seq of ALV-J-positive and -negative chicken samples; 8,304 differentially methylated regions (DMRs) were identified by MeDIP-seq analysis ( ≤ 0.005) and 515 differentially expressed genes were identified by RNA-seq analysis ( ≤ 0.05). As a result of an integration analysis, we screened six candidate genes to identify ALV-J-negative chickens that possessed differential methylation in the promoter region. Furthermore, TGFB2 played an important role in tumorigenesis and cancer progression, which suggested TGFB2 may be an indicator for identifying ALV-J infections.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fvets.2021.659840DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8203102PMC
May 2021

Distribution and molecular characterization of avian infectious bronchitis virus in southern China.

Poult Sci 2021 Jul 27;100(7):101169. Epub 2021 Mar 27.

Guangdong Provincial Animal Virus Vector Vaccine Engineering Technology Research Center, College of Animal Science, South China Agricultural University, Guangzhou, 510642, P.R. China; Key Laboratory of Healthy Animal Husbandry and Environmental Control of Guangdong Province, Guangzhou, 510642, Guangdong, P.R. China. Electronic address:

Avian infectious bronchitis virus (IBV) is causing considerable economic losses in the world poultry industry. The main difficulty of prevention and control of IB disease is the numerous genotypes and serotypes. The genetic analysis of IBV was mainly based on the S1 gene which played an important role in infectivity. In the study, One hundred and thirty-nine strains of avian infectious bronchitis virus were isolated from chickens showing signs of disease in southern China during the period from April 2019 to March 2020. The nucleotide and amino acid sequences from the isolated field strains were compared to 22 published references. Nucleotide homologies ranged from 64.5% to 100% and amino acid homologies ranging from 70% to 99.8%. Six genotype IBV strains were co-circulating in southern China. QX-type was still the most dominant genotype. Alignment of nucleotide and amino acid sequences of S1 gene revealed that the substitutions, insertions and deletions are widely among isolated strains. Recombination analysis showed that there is a large number of recombinant strains amongst these isolates, forming new sub branches, subtypes and variants. Therefore, long-term continuing surveillance is necessary for IBV prevention and control.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.psj.2021.101169DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8192861PMC
July 2021

African Swine Fever Virus Protein E199L Promotes Cell Autophagy through the Interaction of PYCR2.

Virol Sin 2021 Apr 8;36(2):196-206. Epub 2021 Apr 8.

College of Animal Science, South China Agricultural University & Lingnan Guangdong Laboratory of Modern Agriculture & Guangdong Provincial Key Lab of Agro-Animal Genomics and Molecular Breeding, Guangzhou, 510642, China.

African swine fever virus (ASFV), as a member of the large DNA viruses, may regulate autophagy and apoptosis by inhibiting programmed cell death. However, the function of ASFV proteins has not been fully elucidated, especially the role of autophagy in ASFV infection. One of three Pyrroline-5-carboxylate reductases (PYCR), is primarily involved in conversion of glutamate to proline. Previous studies have shown that depletion of PYCR2 was related to the induction of autophagy. In the present study, we found for the first time that ASFV E199L protein induced a complete autophagy process in Vero and HEK-293T cells. Through co-immunoprecipitation coupled with mass spectrometry (CoIP-MS) analysis, we firstly identified that E199L interact with PYCR2 in vitro. Importantly, our work provides evidence that E199L down-regulated the expression of PYCR2, resulting in autophagy activation. Overall, our results demonstrate that ASFV E199L protein induces complete autophagy through interaction with PYCR2 and down-regulate the expression level of PYCR2, which provide a valuable reference for the role of autophagy during ASFV infection and contribute to the functional clues of PYCR2.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s12250-021-00375-xDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8027715PMC
April 2021

A recombinase polymerase amplification-based assay for rapid detection of Chlamydia psittaci.

Poult Sci 2021 Feb 28;100(2):585-591. Epub 2020 Nov 28.

Guangdong Provincial Animal Virus Vector Vaccine Engineering Technology Research Center, College of Animal Science, South China Agricultural University, Guangzhou 510642, P.R. China; Department of Population Medicine and Diagnostic Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853, USA. Electronic address:

Chlamydia psittaci is a zoonotic agent of systemic wasting disease in birds and atypical pneumonia in mammalians including humans, constituting a public health risk. A rapid diagnostic assay would be beneficial in screening C. psittaci in the field. In this study, we developed a probe-based recombinase polymerase amplification (RPA) assay for the rapid detection of C. psittaci. The specific primer pairs and probe targeting the conserved region of the outer membrane protein A gene were designed and applied to the real-time real-time RPA assay. The test can be performed at 39°C for 20 min using a portable device, with sensitivities approaching 100 copies of DNA molecules per reaction, with no cross-reaction with other pathogens. The clinical performance of the RPA assay was evaluated in an outbreak of C. psittaci and has high accuracy levels in field applications. The epidemic C. psittaci strains were classed into 2 genotypes: A and C. Collectively, this study offers a promising approach in screening for C. psittaci both in a laboratory setting and in field settings, and RPA can be used as an effective clinical test to monitor outbreaks in domestic fowl populations.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.psj.2020.11.031DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7858173PMC
February 2021

Effect of Baicalin on Bacterial Secondary Infection and Inflammation Caused by H9N2 AIV Infection in Chickens.

Biomed Res Int 2020 18;2020:2524314. Epub 2020 Nov 18.

Lingnan Guangdong Laboratory of Modern Agriculture & Guangdong Provincial Key Lab of Agro-Animal Genomics and Molecular Breeding, College of Animal Science, South China Agricultural University, Guangzhou 510642, China.

H9N2 subtype avian influenza virus (H9N2 AIV) is a low pathogenic virus that is widely prevalent all over the world. H9N2 AIV causes immunosuppression in the host and often leads to high rates of mortality due to secondary infection with Escherichia. Due to the drug resistance of bacteria, many antibiotics are not effective in the treatment of secondary bacterial infection. Therefore, the purpose of this study is to find effective nonantibiotic drugs for the treatment of H9N2 AIV infection-induced secondary bacterial infection and inflammation. This study proves, for the first time, that baicalin, a Chinese herbal medicine, can regulate to replace induced by H9N2 AIV, so as to resolve the intestinal flora disorder. In addition, baicalin can effectively prevent intestinal bacterial translocation of SPF chickens' post-H9N2 AIV infection, thus inhibiting secondary bacterial infection. Furthermore, baicalin can effectively treat H9N2 AIV-induced inflammation by inhibiting intestinal structural damage, inhibiting damage to ileal mucus layer construction and tight junctions, improving antioxidant capacity, affecting blood biochemical indexes, and inhibiting the production of inflammatory cytokines. Taken together, these results provide a new theoretical basis for clinical prevention and control of H9N2 AIV infection-induced secondary bacterial infection and inflammation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2020/2524314DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7691011PMC
May 2021

Evaluation of the efficacy of chlorogenic acid in reducing small intestine injury, oxidative stress, and inflammation in chickens challenged with Clostridium perfringens type A.

Poult Sci 2020 Dec 6;99(12):6606-6618. Epub 2020 Oct 6.

Lingnan Guangdong Laboratory of Modern Agriculture, College of Animal Science, South China Agricultural University, Guangzhou, 510642, PR China; Guangdong Provincial Key Lab of Agro-Animal Genomics and Molecular Breeding & Key Laboratory of Chicken Genetics, Breeding and Reproduction, Ministry of Agriculture, Guangzhou 510642, PR China; Guangdong Engineering Research Center for Vector Vaccine of Animal Virus, Guangzhou, 510642, PR China; South China Collaborative Innovation Center for Poultry Disease Control and Product Safety, Guangzhou 510642, PR China. Electronic address:

The goal of the study was testing the effects of chlorogenic acid (CA) supplementation on small intestine healthiness, growth performance, oxidative stress, inflammatory response, and blood biochemical indices in specific-pathogen-free (SPF) chickens after infection with Clostridium perfringens (CP) type A. In this study, 324 1-day-old male SPF chickens were randomly distributed into 6 groups: control group; CA group; CP infection group; CA + CP group; antibiotic group; antibiotic + CP group. All 1-day-old chickens were fed with CA or antibiotic in corresponding treatment group for 13 d. On the 14 d, the chickens in corresponding infection group were challenged with CP type A for 3 d. Samples in each group were collected when the chickens were 17 and 21 d old. This study proves for the first time that CA, a Chinese herbal medicine, can effectively improve growth performance, inhibit small intestine structural damage, improve antioxidant capacity, inhibit damage to ileal mucosal layer construction and tight junctions, inhibit inflammatory cytokines, and ameliorate blood biochemical indices. Therefore, this study provides data for CA being able to effectively alleviate small intestine damage caused by CP type A infection in chickens.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.psj.2020.09.082DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7810911PMC
December 2020

Effects of antibacterial peptide combinations on growth performance, intestinal health, and immune function of broiler chickens.

Poult Sci 2020 Dec 14;99(12):6481-6492. Epub 2020 Sep 14.

College of Animal Science and National Engineering Research Center for Breeding Swine Industry, South China Agricultural University, Guangzhou, 510642 P. R. China. Electronic address:

To study the effects of antibacterial peptides (ABPs) on feeding broilers, this experiment compared the 2 combinations of ABP with antibiotics by separately adding the supplement to the diet of 818 broilers as follows-antibiotics, Pratt and Full-tide, and Pratt and plant essential oil-and then the effect of them on production performance, immune function, antioxidant capacity, serum biochemical indicators, and microorganisms of the experimental flocks was investigated and compared. It was found that the aforementioned indicators among the 2 groups of ABP and the antibiotic group were close to or even better than those of antibiotics, and the combination added with plant essential oils had generally better effects. These results indicated that ABPs could improve economic benefits by promoting growth, preventing disease, and reducing the rate of death. This study deepened the research on the action mechanism of ABPs and not only explored the feasibility of ABPs as a novel feed additive for broilers but also provided experimental data and theoretical basis for the application of ABPs.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.psj.2020.08.068DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7810918PMC
December 2020

Nitrate Is Crucial for the Proliferation of Gut Caused by H9N2 AIV Infection and Effective Regulation by Chinese Herbal Medicine Ageratum-Liquid.

Front Microbiol 2020 30;11:555739. Epub 2020 Oct 30.

College of Animal Science, South China Agricultural University, Guangzhou, China.

H9N2 avian influenza virus (AIV) infection in chickens is often accompanied by secondary bacterial infection, but the mechanism is unclear. The aim of the present study was to reveal that mechanism and explore non-antibiotic treatment. 16s rRNA sequencing and metabonomics were performed in the intestinal contents of chickens infected with H9N2 AIV or H9N2 AIV and fed with ageratum-liquid (AL) to reveal the metabolite that promote intestinal proliferation caused by H9N2 AIV, as well as to determine the regulatory effect of AL. It was found that H9N2 AIV infection led to become the dominant gut microbe and promoted translocation from the intestinal tract to the visceral tissue through the damaged intestinal barrier. H9N2 AIV infection induces inflammation in the intestinal mucosa and promotes the secretion and release of nitrate from the host intestinal epithelium. In addition, nitrate promoted proliferation in the inflamed intestinal tract following H9N2 AIV infection. Furthermore, Chinese herbal medicine AL can restore intestinal homeostasis, inhibit the production of nitrate in the intestinal epithelium and effectively prevent the proliferation and translocation of in the intestines. This is the first report on the mechanism of secondary infection induced by H9N2 AIV, where herbal medicine AL was shown to have a good preventive effect on the secondary infection.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fmicb.2020.555739DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7662154PMC
October 2020

Efficacy of commercial polyvalent avian infectious bronchitis vaccines against Chinese QX-like and TW-like strain via different vaccination strategies.

Poult Sci 2020 Oct 24;99(10):4786-4794. Epub 2020 Jul 24.

College of Animal Science, South China Agricultural University & Guangdong Provincial Key Laboratory of Agro-Animal Genomics and Molecular Breeding & Key Laboratory of Chicken Genetics, Breeding and Reproduction, Ministry of Agriculture, Guangzhou 510642, PR China; College of Animal Science, South China Agricultural University & Key Laboratory of Animal Health Aquaculture and Environmental Control, Guangzhou 510642, PR China; College of Animal Science, South China Agricultural University & Guangdong Animal Virus Vector Vaccine Engineering Research Center, Guangzhou 510642, PR China; College of Animal Science, South China Agricultural University & South China Collaborative Innovation Center for Poultry Disease Control and Product Safety, Guangzhou 510640, PR China. Electronic address:

The infectious bronchitis virus (IBV) is an acute and highly contagious disease, which affects chickens of all ages. Vaccination is the most important way to control this disease. Nevertheless, novel variant strains are constantly reported because of the lack of proofreading capabilities of RNA polymerase and high frequency of homologous RNA recombination. Cross-protection studies has demonstrated that the vaccines could provide great protective effects against viruses of same serotype or genotype. However, the protective effect of different commercial vaccines and vaccine combinations against the prevalent IBV strains in China has rarely been studied. Owing to the multiple genotype or serotype IBV strains prevalence in China, the polyvalent vaccines and their composition were used to expanding the protection spectrum of vaccine in practical application. To evaluate the protection of Chinese commercial IBV polyvalent vaccines against prevalent strains (QX-like and TW I-like), an immune challenge test was conducted. Four polyvalent vaccines, containing 4/91, H120, YX10p90, LDT3-A, and 28/86, were combined to form 8 vaccination strategies, almost all of which could provide more than 70% protection effects against challenge with QX-like strain. Particularly, the best protection rate (93%) was generated by administration the polyvalent vaccine C (H120 + 28/86 + 4/91) at 1 D of age and the polyvalent vaccine B (H120 + 4/91 + YX10p90) at 10 D of age. However, all the vaccination strategies in this study cannot provide great protective effects against TW-like strain, and more vaccines should be included in studies to expand the protection spectrum of vaccine. Therefore, for the newly emerging IBV strains, immunization with polyvalent vaccines via different vaccination strategies could be used to control the prevalence of IBV in a short time, whereas developing the homologous vaccines was not always necessary.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.psj.2020.06.062DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7380215PMC
October 2020

ALV-J inhibits autophagy through the GADD45β/MEKK4/P38MAPK signaling pathway and mediates apoptosis following autophagy.

Cell Death Dis 2020 08 12;11(8):684. Epub 2020 Aug 12.

Lingnan Guangdong Laboratory of Modern Agriculture & Guangdong Provincial Key Lab of Agro-Animal Genomics and Molecular Breeding, College of Animal Science, South China Agricultural University, 510642, Guangzhou, PR China.

Autophagy and apoptosis, which are important processes for host immunity, are commonly exploited by viruses to facilitate their survival. However, to the best of our knowledge, very few studies have researched the mechanisms of action of the autophagic and apoptotic signaling pathways following viral infection. Thus, the present study aimed to investigate the mechanisms of action of growth arrest and DNA-damage-inducible β (GADD45β), an important resistance gene involved in the host resistance to ALV-J. Both ALV-J infection and the overexpression of GADD45β inhibited autophagy during the early stages, which prevented the autophagosomes from binding to the lysosomes and resulted in an incomplete autophagic flux. Notably, GADD45β was discovered to interact with MEKK4 in DF-1 cells. The genetic knockdown of GADD45β and MEKK4 using small interfering RNA-affected ALV-J infection, which suggested that ALV-J may promote the binding of GADD45β to MEKK4 to activate the p38MAPK signaling pathway, which subsequently inhibits autophagy. Furthermore, ALV-J was revealed to affect the autophagic pathway prior to affecting the apoptotic pathway. In conclusion, to the best of our knowledge, the present study was the first to investigate the combined effects of ALV-J infection on autophagy and apoptosis, and to suggest that ALV-J inhibits autophagy via the GADD45β/MEKK4/p38MAPK signaling pathway.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41419-020-02841-yDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7442830PMC
August 2020

MicroRNA expression profile in extracellular vesicles derived from ALV-J infected chicken semen.

Virus Res 2020 09 1;286:198083. Epub 2020 Jul 1.

Lingnan Guangdong Laboratory of Modern Agriculture, College of Animal Science, South China Agricultural University, Guangzhou, 510642, PR China; Key Laboratory of Animal Health Aquaculture and Environmental Control, Guangzhou 510642, PR China; South China Collaborative Innovation Center for Poultry Disease Control and Product Safety, Guangzhou 510640, PR China. Electronic address:

MicroRNAs(miRNAs) have been reported to regulate gene expression in many processes. MiRNA in extracellular vesicles (EVs) also have been widely investigated, while there is no studies of miRNAs in seminal EVs. Subgroup J of Avian leukosis virus (ALV-J) can be transmitted vertically, but the mechanism of it is not clear enough. This study was to examine the miRNA expression profile in seminal EVs and inquire into the relation between it and the vertical transmission by performing gene ontology (GO) and pathway enrichment analysis. Here, we first isolated and characterized seminal EVs by Nanoparticle Tracking Analysis、Western Blot and Transmission electron microscopy experiments. By deep sequencing of each EVs miRNA library, 9 typical differentially expressed miRNA, including 6 up-regulated and 3 down-regulated, were identified. Gene target prediction, GO annotation and KEGG pathway enrichment analysis showed possible function associated with these miRNAs. Overall, these findings will increase our understanding of the content and composition of miRNA in seminal EVs and provide new insights into the important role of the seminal EVs miRNAs regulation in ALV-J transmission.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.virusres.2020.198083DOI Listing
September 2020

gga-microRNA-375 negatively regulates the cell cycle and proliferation by targeting Yes-associated protein 1 in DF-1 cells.

Exp Ther Med 2020 Jul 4;20(1):530-542. Epub 2020 May 4.

Guangdong Provincial Key Laboratory of Agro-Animal Genomics and Molecular Breeding, College of Animal Science, South China Agricultural University, Guangzhou, Guangdong 510642, P.R. China.

MicroRNAs (miRNAs/miRs) serve a key role in regulating the cell cycle and inducing tumorigenesis. Subgroup J of the avian leukosis virus (ALV-J) belongs to the family , subfamily and genus that causes tumors in susceptible chickens. gga-miR-375 is downregulated and Yes-associated protein 1 (YAP1) is upregulated in ALV-J-induced tumors in the livers of chickens, and it has been further identified that YAP1 is the direct target gene of gga-miR-375. In the present study, it was found that ALV-J infection promoted the cell cycle and proliferation in DF-1 cells. As the cell cycle and cell proliferation are closely associated with tumorigenesis, further experiments were performed to determine whether gga-miR-375 and YAP1 were involved in these cellular processes. It was demonstrated that gga-miR-375 significantly inhibited the cell cycle by inhibiting G to S/G stage transition and decreasing cell proliferation, while YAP1 significantly promoted the cell cycle and proliferation. Furthermore, these cellular processes in DF-1 cells were affected by gga-miR-375 through the targeting of YAP1. Collectively, the present results suggested that gga-miR-375, downregulated by ALV-J infection, negatively regulated the cell cycle and proliferation via the targeting of YAP1.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3892/etm.2020.8711DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7281959PMC
July 2020

Genome-Wide Association Analysis Reveals Key Genes Responsible for Egg Production of Lion Head Goose.

Front Genet 2019 28;10:1391. Epub 2020 Jan 28.

College of Animal Science, South China Agricultural University and Guangdong Provincial Key Lab of Agro-Animal Genomics and Molecular Breeding, Guangzhou, China.

The lion head goose is one of the most important agricultural resources in China; however, its breeding process is relatively slow. In the present study, a genome-wide association study was performed for the genetic selection of egg production characters in lion head geese. We detected 30 single-nucleotide polymorphisms located in or near 30 genes that might be associated with egg production character, and quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction was used to verify their expression level in lion head geese. The results showed that the expression levels of (encoding -regulated transcription coactivator 1), (encoding fatty acid amide hydrolase 2), (encoding glypican 3), and (encoding serpin family C member 1) in high egg production population were significantly lower than those in the low egg production populations (* < 0.05). The expression levels of (encoding caseinolytic peptidase B protein homolog), (encoding guanine nucleotide-binding protein subunit alpha-12), and (encoding zinc finger, matrin type 5) in the high egg production population were significantly higher than those in the low egg production populations (* < 0.05). The expression of (encoding bone morphogenetic protein 4), (encoding and domain containing 3), (encoding leukemia inhibitory factor), and (encoding nuclear transcription factor Y subunit gamma) in the high egg production population were very significantly lower than those in the low egg production population (** < 0.01). Our findings provide an insight into the economic traits of lion head goose. These candidate genes might be valuable for future breeding improvement.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fgene.2019.01391DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6997537PMC
January 2020

Nonstructural Protein 11 of Porcine Reproductive and Respiratory Syndrome Virus Induces STAT2 Degradation To Inhibit Interferon Signaling.

J Virol 2019 11 29;93(22). Epub 2019 Oct 29.

Molecular Virology Laboratory, VA-MD College of Veterinary Medicine and Maryland Pathogen Research Institute, University of Maryland, College Park, Maryland, USA

Interferons (IFNs) play a crucial role in host antiviral response by activating the JAK/STAT (Janus kinase/signal transducer and activator of transcription) signaling pathway to induce the expression of myriad genes. STAT2 is a key player in the IFN-activated JAK/STAT signaling. Porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus (PRRSV) is an important viral pathogen, causing huge losses to the swine industry. PRRSV infection elicits a meager protective immune response in pigs. The objective of this study was to investigate the effect of PRRSV on STAT2 signaling. Here, we demonstrated that PRRSV downregulated STAT2 to inhibit IFN-activated signaling. PRRSV strains of both and species reduced the STAT2 protein level, whereas the STAT2 transcript level had minimal change. PRRSV reduced the STAT2 level in a dose-dependent manner and shortened STAT2 half-life significantly from approximately 30 to 5 h. PRRSV-induced STAT2 degradation could be restored by treatment with the proteasome inhibitor MG132 and lactacystin. In addition, PRRSV nonstructural protein 11 (nsp11) was identified to interact with and reduce STAT2. The N-terminal domain (NTD) of nsp11 was responsible for STAT2 degradation and interacted with STAT2 NTD and the coiled-coil domain. Mutagenesis analysis showed that the amino acid residue K59 of nsp11 was indispensable for inducing STAT2 reduction. Mutant PRRSV with the K59A mutation generated by reverse genetics almost lost the ability to reduce STAT2. Together, these results demonstrate that PRRSV nsp11 antagonizes IFN signaling via mediating STAT2 degradation and provide further insights into the PRRSV interference of the innate immunity. PRRSV infection elicits a meager protective immune response in pigs. One of the possible reasons is that PRRSV antagonizes interferon induction and its downstream signaling. Interferons are key components in the innate immunity and play crucial roles against viral infection and in the activation of adaptive immune response via JAK/STAT signaling. STAT2 is indispensable in the JAK/STAT signaling since it is also involved in activation of antiviral activity in the absence of STAT1. Here, we discovered that PRRSV nsp11 downregulates STAT2. Interestingly, the N-terminal domain of nsp11 is responsible for inducing STAT2 degradation and directly interacts with STAT2 N-terminal domain. We also identified a crucial amino acid residue K59 in nsp11 since a mutation of it led to loss of the ability to downregulate STAT2. A mutant PRRSV with mutation of K59 had minimal effect on STAT2 reduction. Our data provide further insights into PRRSV interference with interferon signaling.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1128/JVI.01352-19DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6819925PMC
November 2019

Commercial vaccine against pseudorabies virus: A hidden health risk for dogs.

Vet Microbiol 2019 Jun 28;233:102-112. Epub 2019 Apr 28.

College of Animal Science, South China Agricultural University, Guangzhou, 510642, PR China; Guangdong Engineering Research Center for Vector Vaccine of Animal Virus, Guangzhou, 510642, PR China; Key Laboratory of Animal Health Aquaculture and Environmental Control, Guangdong, Guangzhou, 510642, PR China. Electronic address:

Pseudorabies virus (PRV) is considered as an infectious agent with a wide of host range, causing considerable economic losses in animal husbandry. Although the commercial vaccine against PRV plays an critical role in control of this disease in swine industry, the potential risk of commercial vaccines against PRV for other host is unclear. Here, we report that the commercial vaccine against PRV is a hidden health risk for dogs. We found that different attenuated PRV strains in commercial vaccines possess different tissue tropism, and that the attenuated PRV strains are lethal to dogs, and that the attenuated PRV strain possesses the ability to spread horizontally among the dogs. Collectively, our findings provide clues that the commercial vaccine against PRV is a hidden risk for dogs, even for the owner of pet dogs to take seriously.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.vetmic.2019.04.031DOI Listing
June 2019

Knockout of Atg5 inhibits proliferation and promotes apoptosis of DF-1 cells.

In Vitro Cell Dev Biol Anim 2019 May 25;55(5):341-348. Epub 2019 Apr 25.

College of Animal Science, South China Agricultural University and Guangdong Provincial Key Lab of Agro-Animal Genomics and Molecular Breeding and Key Laboratory of Chicken Genetics, Breeding and Reproduction, Ministry of Agriculture, Guangzhou, 510642, People's Republic of China.

Atg5, as a switch of cell autophagy and apoptosis, plays an important regulatory role in the occurrence and development of autophagy. Atg5 has been reported to involve the autophagy process but little in the apoptotic process. Here, we constructed an Atg5 DF-1 cell line using the CRISPR/Cas9 assay and confirmed the significant difference in growth kinetics between Atg5 DF-1 cells and wild-type DF-1 cells. Importantly, we found that Atg5 suppresses the cellular proliferation and induce the apoptosis in DF-1 cells by Hoechst's staining, flow cytometry, and caspase activity assay. All these findings indicated that Atg5 plays an important role in the proliferation of DF-1 cells. On the other hand, we compared the expression of autophagy key proteins LC3 and P62 in Atg5 knockout cells and wild-type cells, and detected the aggregation point distribution of LC3 protein in cells by laser confocal technique; our results showed that Atg5 knockout inhibited autophagy compared with wild-type cells. The present findings further help to resolve the molecular mechanisms regulating Atg5 autophagy and apoptosis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11626-019-00342-7DOI Listing
May 2019

Circular RNA Vav3 sponges gga-miR-375 to promote epithelial-mesenchymal transition.

RNA Biol 2019 01 15;16(1):118-132. Epub 2019 Jan 15.

a College of Animal Science , South China Agricultural University , Guangzhou , P. R. China.

Circular RNAs (circRNAs) are evolutionarily conserved and widely present, but their functions remain largely unknown. Recent development has highlighted the importance of circRNAs as the sponge of microRNA (miRNA) in cancer. We previously reported that gga-miR-375 was downregulated in the liver tumors of chickens infected with avian leukosis virus subgroup J (ALV-J) by microRNA microarray assay. It can be reasonably assumed in accordance with previous studies that the gga-miR-375 may be related to circRNAs. However, the question as to which circRNA acts as the sponge for gga-miR-375 remains to be answered. In this study, circRNA sequencing results revealed that a circRNA Vav3 termed circ-Vav3 was upregulated in the liver tumors of chickens infected with ALV-J. In addition, RNA immunoprecipitation (RIP), biotinylated RNA pull-down and RNA-fluorescence in situ hybridization (RNA-FISH) experiments were conducted to confirm that circ-Vav3 serves as the sponge of gga-miR-375. Furthermore, we confirmed through dual luciferase reporter assay that YAP1 is the target gene of gga-miR-375. The effect of the sponge function of circ-Vav3 on its downstream genes has been further verified by our conclusion that the sponge function of circ-Vav3 can abrogate gga-miR-375 target gene YAP1 and increase the expression level of YAP1. We further confirmed that the circ-Vav3/gga-miR-375/YAP1 axis induces epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) through influencing EMT markers to promote tumorigenesis. Finally, clinical ALV-J-induced tumor livers were collected to detect core gene expression levels to provide a proof to the concluded tumorigenic mechanism. Together, our results suggest that circ-Vav3/gga-miR-375/YAP1 axis is another regulator of tumorigenesis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/15476286.2018.1564462DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6380338PMC
January 2019

Molecular characterization, pathogenicity, and protection efficacy analysis of 2 wild-type lentogenic class I Newcastle disease viruses from chickens in China.

Poult Sci 2019 Feb;98(2):602-612

Guangdong Provincial Key Laboratory of Agro-Animal Genomics and Molecular Breeding, College of Animal Science, South China Agricultural University, Guangzhou 510642, P. R. China.

In this study, 2 wild-type Newcastle disease viruses (NDVs), designated as CK/GX/65/15 and CK/GX/26/15, were isolated from asymptomatic chickens in Guangxi province, China. They were identified as lentogenic NDV with mean death time (MDT) above 90 and intracerebral pathogenicity index (ICPI) below 0.7. The results of complete genome sequence analysis show that the 2 NDV strains are members of class I genotype 3 with the length 15,198 nt, which followed the "rule of six" and the order 3'-NP-P-M-F-HN-L-5'. In addition, 8 amino acid substitutions were identified in the functional domains of fusion protein (F) of CK/GX/65/15 and 9 in CK/GX/26/15, whose amino acid sequences of F protein cleavage site are 112E-R-Q-E-R-L117. The isolates were found to be apathogenic in specific pathogen free (SPF) chickens and ducks without morbidity or mortality. Furthermore, the protection study shows that isolates can provide the same effective protection against a major NDV virulent strain in China (class II genotype VII) as the commercial vaccine LaSota. Moreover, vaccination with isolates reduced number of chickens shedding virus compared to those vaccinated with LaSota. In conclusion, 2 wild-type NDV strains exhibited fine protection efficacy against genotype VII NDV in poultry and can be considered as candidate vaccines against NDV.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3382/ps/pey471DOI Listing
February 2019

A premature stop codon within the receptor gene results in decreased susceptibility to infection by avian leukosis virus subgroups B, D, and E.

Oncotarget 2017 Dec 18;8(62):105942-105956. Epub 2017 Nov 18.

College of Animal Science, South China Agricultural University & Guangdong Provincial Key Lab of Agro-Animal Genomics and Molecular Breeding, Guangzhou 510642, P. R. China.

Avian leukosis virus (ALV) is an oncogenic virus causing a variety of neoplasms in chickens. The group of avian leukosis virus in chickens contains six closely related subgroups, A to E and J. The prevalence of ALVs in hosts may have imposed strong selective pressure toward resistance to ALVs infection. The gene encodes Tvb receptor and determines susceptibility or resistance to the subgroups B, D, and E ALV. In this study, we characterized a novel resistant allele of the receptor gene, , which carries a single-nucleotide substitution (c.298C>T) that constitutes a premature termination codon within the fourth exon and leads to the production of a truncated Tvb receptor protein. As a result, we observed decreased susceptibility to infection by ALV-B, ALV-D and ALV-E both and , and decreased the binding affinity of the Tvb receptor for the subgroups B, D, and E ALV envelope glycoproteins. Additionally, we found that the allele was prevalent in Chinese broiler lines. This study demonstrated that premature termination codon in the receptor gene can confer genetic resistance to subgroups B, D, and E ALV in the host, and indicates that could potentially serve as a resistant target against ALV-B, ALV-D and ALV-E infection.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.22512DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5739692PMC
December 2017

Naturally Occurring Frameshift Mutations in the Receptor Gene Are Responsible for Decreased Susceptibility of Chicken to Infection with Avian Leukosis Virus Subgroups B, D, and E.

J Virol 2018 04 28;92(8). Epub 2018 Mar 28.

College of Animal Science, South China Agricultural University and Guangdong Provincial Key Lab of Agro-Animal Genomics and Molecular Breeding, Guangzhou, People's Republic of China

The group of highly related avian leukosis viruses (ALVs) in chickens are thought to have evolved from a common retroviral ancestor into six subgroups, A to E and J. These ALV subgroups use diverse cellular proteins encoded by four genetic loci in chickens as receptors to gain entry into host cells. Hosts exposed to ALVs might be under selective pressure to develop resistance to ALV infection. Indeed, resistance alleles have previously been identified in all four receptor loci in chickens. The gene encodes a receptor, which determines the susceptibility of host cells to ALV subgroup B (ALV-B), ALV-D, and ALV-E. Here we describe the identification of two novel alleles of the receptor gene, which possess independent insertions each within exon 4. The insertions resulted in frameshift mutations that reveal a premature stop codon that causes nonsense-mediated decay of the mutant mRNA and the production of truncated Tvb protein. As a result, we observed that the frameshift mutations in the gene significantly lower the binding affinity of the truncated Tvb receptors for the ALV-B, ALV-D, and ALV-E envelope glycoproteins and significantly reduce susceptibility to infection by ALV-B, ALV-D and ALV-E and Taken together, these findings suggest that frameshift mutation can be a molecular mechanism of reducing susceptibility to ALV and enhance our understanding of virus-host coevolution. Avian leukosis virus (ALV) once caused devastating economic loss to the U.S. poultry industry prior the current eradication schemes in place, and it continues to cause severe calamity to the poultry industry in China and Southeast Asia, where deployment of a complete eradication scheme remains a challenge. The gene encodes the cellular receptor necessary for subgroup B, D, and E ALV infection. Two allelic variants that resulted from frameshift mutations have been identified in this study, which have been shown to have significantly reduced functionality in mediating subgroup B, D, and E ALV infection. Unlike the control of herpesvirus-induced diseases by vaccination, the control of avian leukosis in chickens has relied totally on virus eradication measures and host genetic resistance. This finding enriches the allelic pool of the gene and expands the potential for genetic improvement of ALV resistance in varied chicken populations by selection.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1128/JVI.01770-17DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5874434PMC
April 2018

Circular RNA alterations are involved in resistance to avian leukosis virus subgroup-J-induced tumor formation in chickens.

Oncotarget 2017 May;8(21):34961-34970

College of Animal Science, South China Agricultural University, Guangzhou, 510642, P.R. China.

Avian leukosis virus subgroup (ALV-J) is an oncogenic neoplasm-inducing retrovirus that causes significant economic losses in the poultry industry. Recent studies have demonstrated circular RNAs (circRNAs) are implicated in pathogenic processes; however, no research has indicated circRNAs are involved in resistance to disease. In this study, over 1800 circRNAs were detected by circRNA sequencing of liver tissues from ALV-J-resistant (n = 3) and ALV-J-susceptible chickens (n = 3). 32 differentially expressed circRNAs were selected for analyzing including 12 upregulated in ALV-J-resistant chickens and 20 upregulated in ALV-J-susceptible chickens, besides, the top five microRNAs (miRNAs) for 12 upregulated circRNAs in ALV-J-resistant chickens were analyzed. Gene ontology and KEGG pathway analyses were performed for miRNA target genes, the predicted genes were mainly involved in immune pathways. This study provides the first evidence that circRNA alterations are involved in resistance to ALV-J-induced tumor formation. We propose circRNAs may help to mediate tumor induction and development in chickens.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.16442DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5471026PMC
May 2017

GADD45β, an anti-tumor gene, inhibits avian leukosis virus subgroup J replication in chickens.

Oncotarget 2016 10;7(42):68883-68893

College of Animal Science, South China Agricultural University & Guangdong Provincial Key Laboratory of Agro-Animal Genomics and Molecular Breeding & Key Laboratory of Chicken Genetics, Breeding and Reproduction, Ministry of Agriculture, Guangzhou, 510642 P. R. China.

Avian leukosis virus subgroup J (ALV-J) is a retroviruses that induces neoplasia, hepatomegaly, immunosuppression and poor performance in chickens. The tumorigenic and pathogenic mechanisms of ALV-J remain a hot topic. To explore anti-tumor genes that promote resistance to ALV-J infection in chickens, we bred ALV-J resistant and susceptible chickens (F3 generation). RNA-sequencing (RNA-Seq) of liver tissue from the ALV-J resistant and susceptible chickens identified 216 differentially expressed genes; 88 of those genes were up-regulated in the ALV-J resistant chickens (compared to the susceptible ones). We screened for significantly up-regulated genes (P < 0.01) of interest in the ALV-J resistant chickens, based on their involvement in biological signaling pathways. Functional analyses showed that overexpression of GADD45β inhibited ALV-J replication. GADD45β could enhance defense against ALV-J infection and may be used as a molecular marker to identify ALV-J infections.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.12027DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5356597PMC
October 2016

Molecular epidemiology of J-subgroup avian leukosis virus isolated from meat-type chickens in southern China between 2013 and 2014.

Arch Virol 2016 Nov 9;161(11):3039-46. Epub 2016 Aug 9.

Guangdong Provincial Key Lab of Agro-Animal Genomics and Molecular Breeding, Key Laboratory of Chicken Genetics, Breeding and Reproduction, College of Animal Science, South China Agricultural University, Ministry of Agriculture, Guangzhou, 510642, People's Republic of China.

Members of avian leukosis virus subgroup J (ALV-J) cause various diseases associated with tumor formation and decreased fertility, resulting in major economic losses in the poultry industry worldwide. To assess the status of ALV-J infection in meat-type chickens in southern China, the molecular epidemiology of ALV-J strains was investigated. A total of 265 clinical samples collected from southern China from 2013 to 2014 were investigated in this study for the presence of ALV-J, which resulted in 12 virus isolates. Phylogenetic analysis showed that 91.7 % (11/12) of the ALV-J isolates have possessed high homology to Chinese layer isolates and belong to one subgroup. One of the ALV isolates (designated GD1411-1) was relatively closely related to the ALV-J broiler isolates, indicating that the GD1411-1 isolate might be a transition strain. Several unique nucleotide substitutions in gp85 and the U3 region were detected in all 12 ALV-J isolates. This study provides some interesting information on the molecular characterization of ALV-J isolates. These findings will be beneficial for understanding of the pathogenic mechanism of ALV-J infection.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00705-016-3003-8DOI Listing
November 2016

Isolation, identification and evolution analysis of a novel subgroup of avian leukosis virus isolated from a local Chinese yellow broiler in South China.

Arch Virol 2016 Oct 15;161(10):2717-25. Epub 2016 Jul 15.

College of Animal Science, South China Agricultural University, No. 483 Wushan Road, Tianhe District, Guangzhou, Guangdong, People's Republic of China.

Avian leukosis virus (ALV) causes high mortality associated with tumor formation and decreased fertility, and results in major economic losses in the poultry industry worldwide. Recently, a putative novel ALV subgroup virus named ALV-K was observed in Chinese local chickens. In this study, a novel ALV strain named GD14LZ was isolated from a Chinese local yellow broiler in 2014. The proviral genome was sequenced and phylogenetically analyzed. The replication ability and pathogenicity of this virus were also evaluated. The complete proviral genome sequence of GD14LZ was 7482 nt in length, with a genetic organization typical of replication-competent type C retroviruses lacking viral oncogenes. Sequence analysis showed that the gag, pol and gp37 genes of GD14LZ have high sequence similarity to those of other ALV strains (A-E subgroups), especially to those of ALV-E. The gp85 gene of the GD14LZ isolate showed a low sequence similarity to those other ALV strains (A-E subgroups) but showed high similarity to strains previously described as ALV-K. Phylogenetic analysis of gp85 also suggested that the GD14LZ isolate was related to ALV-K strains. Further study showed that this isolate replicated more slowly and was less pathogenic than other ALV strains. These results indicate that the GD14LZ isolate belongs to the novel subgroup ALV-K and probably arose by recombination of ALV-K with endogenous viruses with low replication and pathogenicity. This virus might have existed in local Chinese chickens for a long time.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00705-016-2965-xDOI Listing
October 2016
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