Theses and Dissertations

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


Pharr, G. Todd

Committee Member

Wan, Xiu-Feng

Committee Member

Pinchuk, Lesya M.

Committee Member

Taylor, Jr. Robert L.

Date of Degree


Original embargo terms

Visible to MSU only for 3 years

Document Type

Dissertation - Open Access


Veterinary Medical Sciences

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


College of Veterinary Medicine


Department of Basic Sciences


The chicken bursa of Fabricius is a primary lymphoid tissue important for B-cell development. Our long-term goal is to understand the role of bursal microenvironment in an early B-cell differentiation event initiating repertoire development through immunoglobulin gene-conversion in the chick embryo. We hypothesize that early bursal B-cell differentiation is guided by signals through cytokine receptors. Our theory is based on previous evidence for expression of the receptor tyrosine kinase superfamily members and interleukin receptors in unseparated populations of bursal B-cells and bursal tissue. Knowledge of the expressed genes that are responsible for B-cell differentiation is a prerequisite for understanding the bursal microenvironment’s function. This project uses transcriptomic analysis to examine gene expression across an early B-cell differentiation event. RNA-seq was performed with total RNA isolated from developing B-cells at embryonic day (ED) 16 and ED 19 (n=3). Approximately 90 million high quality clean reads where obtained from the cDNA libraries. The analysis revealed differentially expressed genes involved in Wnt signaling pathway, Jak-STAT pathway, metabolic pathways, tyrosine metabolism, Toll-like receptor signaling pathway, MAPK signaling pathway, and cellhesion molecules. The transcripts for surface receptors, signal transduction and transcription factors identified in this study represent gene candidates for controlling B-cell differentiation in response to bursal microenvironmental factors.