Enhancing genetic resistance of chickens to Newcastle Disease Virus (NDV) provides a promising way to improve poultry health, and to alleviate poverty and food insecurity in developing countries. In this study, two inbred chicken lines with different responses to NDV, Fayoumi and Leghorn, were challenged with LaSota NDV strain at 21 days of age. Through transcriptome analysis, gene expression in spleen at 2 and 6 days post-inoculation was compared between NDV-infected and control groups, as well as between chicken lines. At a false discovery rate <0.05, Fayoumi chickens, which are relatively more resistant to NDV, showed fewer differentially expressed genes (DEGs) than Leghorn chickens. Several interferon-stimulated genes were identified as important DEGs regulating immune response to NDV in chicken. Pathways predicted by IPA analysis, such as "EIF-signaling", "actin cytoskeleton organization nitric oxide production" and "coagulation system" may contribute to resistance to NDV in Fayoumi chickens. The identified DEGs and predicted pathways may contribute to differential responses to NDV between the two chicken lines and provide potential targets for breeding chickens that are more resistant to NDV.
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