A WIDE SCALE INVESTIGATION INTO LNCRNA IN BOS TAURUS

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2023

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Abstract

Although the history of genetic research has focused on genes and gene products, there is an interesting emerging subclass of genetic elements: long noncoding RNAs (lncRNAs). These are portions of the genome that are longer than 200 base pairs in length and are transcribed from DNA to RNA but do not yield a protein. The function of lncRNA is wide reaching and difficult to define; however, they are predominantly linked to the regulation of gene expression. This is done via transcriptional control, translation control, pre- and post- transcriptional and translational control, epigenetic modifications, RNA processing,as well as other methods. In this dissertation, multiple Bos taurus tissues across various life conditions were investigated in order to identify lncRNA and to begin making predictions about the role and function of identified transcripts. First, lncRNA were identified and analyzed in Bos taurus rumen tissue in pre-weaning and post-weaning cattle. lncRNA were implicated in the weaning process and demonstrated enrichment in complex traits, indicating the continued impact rumen-associated lncRNA have on dairy cattle. Following this study, mammary tissues from dry and lactating cattle were used for lncRNA analysis, in relation to the lacta-tion processes. This study revealed both the presence and impact of mammary lncRNA, and identified lncRNA associated with genes and biological processes that are strongly linked to lactation and mammary tissue function. Subsequently, immune system related tissues were analyzed for lncRNA and their roles. This investigation demonstrated lncRNA to be present in all investigated tissues, including transcripts being repeatedly present. Further analysis into identified lncRNA associated transcripts with genes and functions that are crucial to immune response. Finally, a tutorial was created to make lncRNA identification research more easily accessible to future researchers. The findings and creations of this dissertation increase the knowledge base of lncRNA and their role, allowing for further research endeavors and improvements in Bos taurus husbandry.

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