Journal of Applied Genetics

, Volume 54, Issue 3, pp 271–283 | Cite as

Research progress in allele-specific expression and its regulatory mechanisms

  • Uma Gaur
  • Kui Li
  • Shuqi Mei
  • Guisheng LiuEmail author
Animal Genetics • Review


Although the majority of genes are expressed equally from both alleles, some genes are differentially expressed. Organisms possess characteristics to preferentially express a particular allele under regulatory factors, which is termed allele-specific expression (ASE). It is one of the important genetic factors that lead to phenotypic variation and can be used to identify the variance of gene regulation factors. ASE indicates mechanisms such as DNA methylation, histone modifications, and non-coding RNAs function. Here, we review a broad survey of progress in ASE studies, and what this simple yet very effective approach can offer in functional genomics, and possible implications toward our better understanding of the underlying mechanisms of complex traits.


Phenotypic variation Allele-specific expression Regulatory mechanism Genetic and epigenetic factors 



This work was supported by the National Postdoctoral Science Foundation of China (2012M511596), the project of Hubei Agricultural Science and Technology Innovation Center (2011-620-001-003), and the open project of Hubei Key Laboratory of Animal Embryo Engineering and Molecular Breeding (2012ZD145).


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Copyright information

© Institute of Plant Genetics, Polish Academy of Sciences, Poznan 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of Animal Science and Veterinary MedicineHubei Academy of Agricultural SciencesWuhanPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.Hubei Key Laboratory of Animal Embryo Engineering and Molecular BreedingWuhanPeople’s Republic of China
  3. 3.Beijing Institute of Animal Science and Veterinary MedicineChinese Academy of Agricultural SciencesBeijingPeople’s Republic of China

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