Molecular Characterization of the Duck SCF Gene and its Expression Changes in Different Color Plumage Bulbs
Stem Cell Factor (SCF) also called Steel Factor (SF), Mast cell Growth Factor (MGF) and KIT tyrosine Kinase receptor Ligand (KL) is a hematopoietic growth factor and ligand for the KIT tyrosine kinase receptor. In this study, the partial complementary DNA (cDNA) of SCF was cloned from the eye of duck by homology cloning and Rapid Amplification of Cdna Ends (RACE) approaches. Comparing with zebra finch, quail, chicken and mammalian SCF cDNA sequence, the phylogenetic tree displayed that duck SCF is highly conserved, it shares 63.8-94.3% similarity with the above species cDNA sequence. The rooted phylogenetic neighbor-Joining tree with bootstrap was done using SCF CDS sequences from duck and other species by DNAMAN software. The results showed that duck has close relationship with chicken, quail and zebro finch. The semi-quantitative RT-PCR analysis indicated that SCF was a universally expressed gene, it was detected in heart, liver, spleen, kidney, brain, back skin, muscle, eye, glandular stomach, belly skin. Q-PCR was employed to analyze the SCF gene expression in six type duck hair bulbs. The results showed that its expression had significant difference between W-W which is white hair bulb taken from white plumage with yellow beak and other types (BL-Bl which is black feather hair bulb taken from black plumage with black beak, W-L which is white feather hair bulb taken from white plumage with black beak ducks, W-WB which is white feather taken from white-black plumage with black beak, B-WB which is black feather taken from white-black plumage with black beak), p<0.001). The expression of SCF in BR (brown feather hair bulb taken from brown plumages with black beak ducks) has significant difference comparing with the above 5 hair bulb types (p<0.05). There is no significant difference between any of the following types which including BL-BL, W-L, W-WB and B-WB. The results indicated that SCF may be a critical gene on regulation gene expression for duck plumage diversity.