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Research article2020Peer reviewedOpen access

RNA-Seq analysis reveals functionally relevant coding and non-coding RNAs in crossbred bull spermatozoa

Prakash, Mani Arul; Kumaresan, Arumugam; Sinha, Manish Kumar; Kamaraj, Elango; Mohanty, Tushar Kumar; Datta, Tirtha Kumar; Morrell, Jane


Sperm, which are believed to be transcriptionally and translationally inactive, synthesize RNA and proteins before there is gradual disappearance of the ribosome during chromatin compaction. Sperm transfer several functionally relevant transcripts to the oocyte, controlling maternal-zygotic transition and embryonic development. The present study was undertaken to profile and analyze sperm transcripts comprehensively using Next Generation Ribonucleic acid sequencing technology in Holstein Friesian x Tharparkar crossbred bulls. The results from global transcriptomic profiling revealed transcripts for 13,814 genes; of which 431 transcripts were expressed with >1 FPKM and 13,383 transcripts were expressed with >0 or <1 FPKM. The abundant mRNA transcripts of crossbred bull sperm were PRM1 and HMGB4. Gene ontology of transcripts with>1 FPKM revealed there was a major involvement in the structural constituent of ribosomes and translation. Results from pathway enrichment indicated the connection between ribosome, oxidative phosphorylation and spliceosome pathways and the transcripts of crossbred bull spermatozoa. The transcriptional abundance of selected genes, validated using RT-qPCR, indicated significant variations between bulls. Collectively, it may be inferred that the transcripts in crossbred bull sperm were heavily implicated in functions such as the structural constituent of ribosomes and translation, and pathways such as ribosome, oxidative phosphorylation and spliceosome. Further studies using larger sample sizes are required to understand the possible implications of transcriptomic variations on semen quality and fertility.


Crossbred Bull; Spermatozoa; Transcriptomic profiling; RNA-Seq; Ribosome; Oxidative phosphorylation

Published in

Animal Reproduction Science
2020, Volume: 222, article number: 106621

    UKÄ Subject classification

    Animal and Dairy Science

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