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In PloS one ; h5-index 176.0

Several gene expression studies have been previously conducted to characterize molecular basis of Wooden Breast myopathy in commercial broiler chickens. These studies have generally used a limited sample size and relied on a binary disease outcome (unaffected or affected by Wooden Breast), which are appropriate for an initial investigation. However, to identify biomarkers of disease severity and development, it is necessary to use a large number of samples with a varying degree of disease severity. Therefore, in this study, we assayed a relatively large number of samples (n = 96) harvested from the pectoralis major muscle of unaffected (U), partially affected (P) and markedly affected (A) chickens. Gene expression analysis was conducted using the nCounter MAX Analysis System and data were analyzed using four different supervised machine-learning methods, including support vector machines (SVM), random forests (RF), elastic net logistic regression (ENET) and Lasso logistic regression (LASSO). The SVM method achieved the highest prediction accuracy for both three-class (U, P and A) and two-class (U and P+A) classifications with 94% prediction accuracy for two-class classification and 85% for three-class classification. The results also identified biomarkers of Wooden Breast severity and development. Additionally, gene expression analysis and ultrastructural evaluations provided evidence of vascular endothelial cell dysfunction in the early pathogenesis of Wooden Breast.

Abasht Behnam, Papah Michael B, Qiu Jing