• Wu S, Guo W, Yan T, Zhou J, Li Y, Zhu Y, Duan Y, Yang X. (2019) Spermatozoal mRNAs expression implicated in embryonic development were influenced by dietary folate supplementation of breeder roosters by altering spermatozoal piRNA expression profiles. Theriogenology 138, 102-110.

Dietary folate intake, together with changes in its metabolism process, have effects on male reproduction, sperm epigenetic patterning and offspring outcome. Previous studies have proven that PIWI-interacting RNAs (piRNAs) play important roles in successful spermatogenesis and regulating genes expression of sperm and offspring embryo. Herein, we fed breeder roosters with five different levels (0, 0.25, 1.25, 2.50, and 5.00 mg/kg) of folate throughout life and found that paternal folate supplementation was beneficial to the growth and organ development of offspring broilers. Further spermatozoal mRNAs sequencing analyses implied that the dietary folate supplementation could regulate the spermatozoal mRNA abundance of genes related to the fetal development. Furthermore, global piRNAs analyses of breeder roosters’ sperm revealed that differential concentration of dietary folate supplementation could change piRNAs profiles. Combined mRNAs sequencing and target gene prediction of differentially expressed gene-derived piRNAs, embryonic development and metabolism related pathways and biological processes, which were consisted to the regulatory roles of paternal folate supplementations, were significantly affected by the differentially expressed gene-derived piRNAs based on the GO and KEGG analyses. Overall, our results provided a novel insight into the role of piRNAs in response to folate intake, which will broaden the understanding about the relationship between folate and sperm epigenetic patterning of breeder roosters.

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