Identification of optimal reference genes for examination of gene expression in different tissues of fetal yaks
Reverse transcription quantitative real-time PCR (RT-qPCR) is widely used to study the relative abundance of mRNA transcripts because of its sensitivity and reliable quantification. However, the reliability of the interpretation of expression data is influenced by several complex factors, including RNA quality, transcription activity, and PCR efficiency, among others. To avoid experimental errors arising from potential variation, the selection of appropriate reference genes to normalize gene expression is essential. In this study, 10 commonly used reference genes – ACTB, B2M, HPRT1, GAPDH, 18SrRNA, 28SrRNA, PPIA, UBE2D2, SDHA, and TBP – were selected as candidate reference genes for six fetal tissues (heart, liver, spleen, lung, kidney, and forehead skin) of yak (Bos grunniens). The transcription stability of the candidate reference genes was evaluated using geNorm, NormFinder, and BestKeeper. The results showed that the combination of TBP and ACTB provided high-quality data for further study. In contrast, the commonly used reference genes 28SrRNA, SDHA, GAPDH, and B2M should not be used for endogenous controls because of their unstable expression in this study. The reference genes that could be used in future gene expression studies in yaks were indentified.
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