Transcriptome profiling of the developing postnatal mouse testis using next-generation sequencing

Wei Gong, Lin Lin Pan, Qiang Lin, Yuan Yuan Zhou, Cheng Qi Xin, Xiao Min Yu, Peng Cui, Song Nian Hu, Jun Yu*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Scopus citations


Mammalian testis development is a complex and highly sophisticated process. To study the dynamic change of normal testis development at the transcriptional level, we investigated mouse testes at three postnatal ages: 6 days postnatal, 4 weeks old, and 10 weeks old, representing infant (PN1), juvenile (PN2), and adult (PN3) stages, respectively. Using ultra high-throughput RNA sequencing (RNA-seq) technology, we obtained 211 million reads with a length of 35 bp. We identified 18837 genes that were expressed in mouse testes, and found that genes expressed at the highest level were involved in spermatogenesis. The gene expression pattern in PN1 was distinct from that in PN2 and PN3, which indicates that spermatogenesis has commenced in PN2. We analyzed a large number of genes related to spermatogenesis and somatic development of the testis, which play important roles at different developmental stages. We also found that the MAPK, Hedgehog, and Wnt signaling pathways were significantly involved at different developmental stages. These findings further our understanding of the molecular mechanisms that regulate testis development. Our study also demonstrates significant advantages of RNA-seq technology for studying transcriptome during development.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-12
Number of pages12
JournalScience China Life Sciences
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2013

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We would like to acknowledge Drs. Zhang Bing, Zhao WenMing, Song ShuHui, and Wu JiaYan for their advice on experiments and data analysis. We thank Dr. Luo YingFeng for his technical assistance, and Du ZhengLin and Yu CaiXia for their assistance with bioinformatics. This work was supported by the National Basic Research Program of China (2011CB944100, 2011CB944101), the National Natural Science Foundation of China (90919024), the Special Foundation Work Program of Ministry of Science and Technology (2009FY120100), and the National High Technology Research and Development Program of Ministry of Science and Technology of China (2012AA020409).


  • development
  • mouse testis
  • next-generation sequencing
  • transcriptome

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Environmental Science
  • General Agricultural and Biological Sciences


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