Genes & Genomics

, Volume 40, Issue 7, pp 687–700 | Cite as

Transcriptome analysis of differentially expressed genes in rabbits’ ovaries by digital gene-expression profiling

  • Tao Huang
  • Ya-dong Wang
  • Ming-ming Xue
  • Xue Feng
  • Cai-Xia Sun
  • An-si Wang
  • Shu-yu Xie
  • Meng Zhang
  • Gui-Rong Sun
  • Ming Li
Research Article


Reproduction is a complex physiological process that is regulated by multiple genes and pathways. Compared with studies of common livestock, fewer studies of genes related to the fertility of rabbits (Oryctolagus cuniculus) have been reported, and the molecular mechanism of their high productivity is still poorly understood. To identify candidate genes associated with development and prolificacy in rabbits, we analyzed gene expression differences among the ovaries of mature Californian rabbit (LC), and mature (HH) and immature Harbin white rabbit (IH) using digital gene expression technology. We detected 885 and 321 genes that were significantly differentially expressed in comparisons between HH/IH and HH/LC, respectively. The functions of the differentially expressed genes (DEGs) were determined by GO classification and KEGG pathway analysis. The results suggest that most of the DEGs between the mature and immature developmental stages were predominantly associated with DNA replication, cell cycle, and progesterone-mediated oocyte maturation, and most were up-regulated in the IH group compared with the HH group. The DEGs involved in disparate fecundities between HH and LC were associated with reproduction, fructose and mannose metabolism, steroid hormone biosynthesis, and pyruvate metabolism. Our results will contribute to a better understanding of changes in the regulatory network in ovary at different developmental stages and in different fertility of rabbit.


Rabbit Ovary Gene expression Reproduction 



This work was supported by Modern Agricultural Industry Technology System of Henan Province (2013–14). We thank Margaret Biswas, PhD, from Liwen Bianji, Edanz Group China (, for editing the English text of a draft of this manuscript.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

Tao Huang, Ya-dong Wang, Ming-ming Xue, Xue Feng, Cai-Xia Sun, An-si Wang, Shu-yu Xie, Meng Zhang, Gui-Rong Sun, Ming Li declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

This article does not contain any studies with human subjects and the study was in full compliance with ethical standards of institutional regulation.

Supplementary material

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Copyright information

© The Genetics Society of Korea and Springer Science+Business Media B.V., part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Tao Huang
    • 1
  • Ya-dong Wang
    • 1
  • Ming-ming Xue
    • 1
  • Xue Feng
    • 1
  • Cai-Xia Sun
    • 1
  • An-si Wang
    • 1
  • Shu-yu Xie
    • 1
  • Meng Zhang
    • 1
  • Gui-Rong Sun
    • 1
  • Ming Li
    • 1
  1. 1.College of Animal Science and Veterinary MedicineHenan Agricultural UniversityZhengzhouPeople’s Republic of China

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