Objective: An experiment was conducted to identify and characterize the circular RNA expression and metabolic characteristics in the liver of Jinhua pigs and Landrace pigs. Methods: Three Jinhua pigs and three Landrace pigs respectively at 70-day were slaughtered to collect the liver tissue samples. Immediately after slaughter, blood samples were taken to detect serum biochemical indicators. Total RNA extracted from liver tissue samples were used to prepare the library and then sequence on HiSeq 2500. Bioinformatic methods were employed to analyze sequence data to identify the circRNAs and predict the potential roles of differentially expressed circRNAs between the two breeds. Results: Significant differences in physiological and biochemical traits were observed between growing Jinhua and Landrace pigs. We identified 84,864 circRNA candidates in two breeds and 366 circRNAs were detected as significantly differentially expressed. Their host genes are involved in lipid biosynthetic and metabolic processes according to the gene ontology analysis and associated with metabolic pathways. Conclusion: Our research represents the first description of circRNA profiles in the porcine liver from two divergent phenotype pigs. The predicted miRNA-circRNA interaction provides important basis for miRNA-circRNA relationships in the porcine liver. These data expand the repertories of porcine circRNA and are conducive to understanding the possible molecular mechanisms involved in miRNA and circRNA. Our study provides basic data for further research of the biological functions of circRNAs in the porcine liver.
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