Selection of Internal Control Genes for Real-Time Quantitative PCR in Ovary and Uterus of Sows across Pregnancy
BackgroundReproductive traits play a key role in pig production in order to reduce costs and increase economic returns. Among others, gene expression analyses represent a useful approach to study genetic mechanisms underlying reproductive traits in pigs. The application of reverse-transcription quantitative PCR requires the selection of appropriate reference genes, whose expression levels should not be affected by the experimental conditions, especially when comparing gene expression across different physiological stages.ResultsThe gene expression stability of ten potential reference genes was studied by three different methods (geNorm, NormFinder and BestKeeper) in ovary and uterus collected at five different physiological time points (heat, and 15, 30, 45 and 60 days of pregnancy). Although final ranking differed, the three algorithms gave very similar results. Thus, the most stable genes across time were TBP and UBC in uterus and TBP and HPRT1 in ovary, while HMBS and ACTB showed the less stable expression in uterus and ovary, respectively. When studied as a systematic effect, the reproductive stage did not significantly affect the expression of the candidate reference genes except at 30d and 60d of pregnancy, when a general drop in expression was observed in ovary.ConclusionsBased in our results, we propose the use of TBP, UBC and SDHA in uterus and TBP, GNB2L1 and HPRT1 in ovary for normalization of longitudinal expression studies using quantitative PCR in sows.