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The duck genome and transcriptome provide insight into an avian influenza virus reservoir species

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  • Yingrui Li
  • Hualan Chen
  • Yong Zhang
  • Wubin Qian
  • Heebal Kim
  • Shangquan Gan
  • Yiqiang Zhao
  • Jianwen Li
  • Kang Yi
  • Huapeng Feng
  • Pengyang Zhu
  • Bo Li
  • Qiuyue Liu
  • Susan Fairley
  • Katharine Magor
  • Zhenlin Du
  • Xiaoxiang Hu
  • Laurie Goodman
  • Hakim Tafer
  • Alain Vignal
  • Taeheon Lee
  • Kyu-Won Kim
  • Zheya Sheng
  • Yang An
  • Steve Searle
  • Javier Herrero
  • Martien Am Groenen
  • Richard Pma Crooijmans
  • Thomas Faraut
  • Qingle Cai
  • Robert Webster
  • Jerry Aldridge
  • Wesley C Warren
  • Sebastian Bartschat
  • Stephanie Kehr
  • Manja Marz
  • Peter Stadler
  • Robert Kraus
  • Yaofeng Zhao
  • Liming Ren
  • Jing Fei
  • Mireille Morisson
  • Darren K Griffin
  • Frederique Pitel
  • Jun Wang
  • Ning Li

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)776-U797
JournalNature Genetics
Issue number7
Early online date9 Jun 2013
Publication statusPublished - 2013


The duck (Anas platyrhynchos) is one of the principal natural hosts of influenza A viruses. We present the duck genome sequence and perform deep transcriptome analyses to investigate immune-related genes. Our data indicate that the duck possesses a contractive immune gene repertoire, as in chicken and zebra finch, and this repertoire has been shaped through lineage-specific duplications. We identify genes that are responsive to influenza A viruses using the lung transcriptomes of control ducks and ones that were infected with either a highly pathogenic (A/duck/Hubei/49/05) or a weakly pathogenic (A/goose/Hubei/65/05) H5N1 1 virus. Further, we show how the duck’s defense mechanisms against influenza infection have been optimized through the diversification of its b-defensin and butyrophilin-like repertoires. These analyses, in combination with the genomic and transcriptomic data, provide a resource for characterizing the interaction between host and influenza viruses.

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