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The Secret of Swiftlets Salivary Glands

The edible bird's nest (EBN) is constructed from the saliva of swiftlets (Aerodramus spp.) is considered as a comprehensive health supplement. The nests of the Aerodramus fuciphagus are considered as the world’s most expensive animal products with the trading value ranging between 1,000.00 USD to 10,000.00 USD per kilogram depends on grade, shape, types and origin. However, little is known on the mechanisms that regulate the genes that control the secretion of saliva of these birds. A group of researchers at IBS has successfully characterized the transcriptome profiles of salivary glands of edible bird’s nest (EBN) and non EBN producing swiftlets. The study showed the differential regulation of genes in salivary glands of EBN producing swiftlets. The finding of this study is currently being further investigated for the identification of biomarkers of industry importance for EBN grading. For further details, please refer to  BMC Genomics (2017), 18:504,

Figure 1. Gene expression profiles of salivary glands of different swiftlets species. (A) Comparison of relative gene expression between AFC, AFM, AMC and AA. (B) Top-10 differential expressed genes between EBN producing swiftlets (A. fuciphagus and A. maximus) and non-EBN producing swiftlets (AA).  (C) Top-10 differential expressed genes between A. fuciphagus and A. maximus from natural habitat (cave).  (D) Top-10 differential expressed genes between A. fuciphagus from natural habitat (cave) and man-made habitat (house).  Genes were identified using a combination of ANOVA with Bonferroni-corrected ≤ 0.05. Expression data were Z-score standardized per gene. AFC is Aerodramus fuciphagus from cave, AFM is Aerodramus fuciphagus from man-made houses, AMC is Aerodramus maximus from cave and AA is Apus affinis from wild.

Figure 2. CREB3L2 gene and cell type-specific secreted components genes (SPCGs) expression in various swiftlet groups; NEBN: Non-edible bird’s nest swift, AFM: A. fuciphagus from man-made house, AFC: A. fuciphagus from cave, AMC: A. maximus from cave.

Date of Input: 29/08/2017 | Updated: 06/09/2017 | azah


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