Role of genome-wide mRNA-seq profiling in understanding the long-term sperm maintenance in the storage tubules of laying hens

  • Jilong Han
  • Hafiz Ishfaq Ahmad
  • Xunping Jiang
  • Guiqiong LiuEmail author
Regular Articles


Sperm storage function of the sperm storage tubules (SSTs) is directly correlated with the fertility of laying hens. SSTs are located at the utero-vaginal junction (UVJ) and infundibulum of the hen oviduct. However, little is known about the cellular and molecular mechanisms responsible for long-term sperm maintenance in the lumen of the SSTs. In this study, we profiled transcriptomes to detect the different gene expressions between infundibulum and UVJ using RNA-seq. As a result, we identified a total of 1382 differentially expressed genes (DEGs). GO analysis showed that fat acid metabolism, regulation of cell differentiation, regulation of transport, and immune response were enriched for these DEGs, and many of the pH-regulatory functions genes such as CAIV and SLC4A4 were highly expressed in UVJ, which inferred that SSTs could preserve sperm by regulating physiological functions in UVJ. Our results provide new insight to understand the specific function for SSTs to extend sperm life span in the oviduct of laying hens.


SST UVJ Sperm storage Laying hens 



The authors would like to thank Bin Nie, Jiayu Zhao, and Zhaoyu Peng for their kindly help in samples collection.

Funding information

This study is supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant No. 31572404), National Natural Science Foundation for Young Scholars of China (Grant No. 31702092), and Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities (2662015PY114).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest.

Supplementary material

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jilong Han
    • 1
    • 2
  • Hafiz Ishfaq Ahmad
    • 1
  • Xunping Jiang
    • 1
  • Guiqiong Liu
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.College of Animal Science and TechnologyHuazhong Agricultural UniversityWuhanPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.College of Animal Science and TechnologyShihezi UniversityShiheziPeople’s Republic of China

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