Non-invasive genotyping with a massively parallel sequencing panel for the detection of SNPs in HPA-axis genes
Citable Link (URL):http://resolver.sub.uni-goettingen.de/purl?gs-1/16052
We designed a genotyping panel for the investigation of the genetic underpinnings of inter-individual differences in aggression and the physiological stress response. The panel builds on single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in genes involved in the three subsystems of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA)-axis: the catecholamine, serotonin and corticoid metabolism. To promote the pipeline for use with wild animal populations, we used non-invasively collected faecal samples from a wild population of Assamese macaques (Macaca assamensis). We targeted loci of 46 previously reported SNPs in 21 candidate genes coding for elements of the HPA-axis and amplified and sequenced them using next-generation Illumina sequencing technology. We compared multiple bioinformatics pipelines for variant calling and variant effect prediction. Based on this strategy and the application of different quality thresholds, we identified up to 159 SNPs with different types of predicted functional effects among our natural study population. This study provides a massively parallel sequencing panel that will facilitate integrating large-scale SNP data into behavioural and physiological studies. Such a multi-faceted approach will promote understanding of flexibility and constraints of animal behaviour and hormone physiology.