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Host transcriptome and microbiome interactions in Holstein cattle under heat stress condition. Frontiers in microbiology Climate change affects animal physiology. In particular, rising ambient temperatures reduce animal vitality due to heat stress and this can be observed at various levels which included genome, transcriptome, and microbiome. In a previous study, microbiota highly associated with changes in cattle physiology, which included rectal temperature, drooling score and respiratory score, were identified under heat stress conditions. In the present study, genes differentially expressed between individuals were selected representing different additive genetic effects toward the heat stress response in cattle in their production condition. Moreover, a correlation network analysis was performed to identify interactions between the transcriptome and microbiome for 71 Chinese Holstein cows sequenced for mRNA from blood samples and for 16S rRNA genes from fecal samples. Bioinformatics analysis was performed comprising: i) clustering and classification of 16S rRNA sequence reads, ii) mapping cows' transcripts to the reference genome and their expression quantification, and iii) statistical analysis of both data types-including differential gene expression analysis and gene set enrichment analysis. A weighted co-expression network analysis was carried out to assess changes in the association between gene expression and microbiota abundance as well as to find hub genes/microbiota responsible for the regulation of gene expression under heat stress. Results showed 1,851 differentially expressed genes were found that were shared by three heat stress phenotypes. These genes were predominantly associated with the cytokine-cytokine receptor interaction pathway. The interaction analysis revealed three modules of genes and microbiota associated with rectal temperature with which two hubs of those modules were bacterial species, demonstrating the importance of the microbiome in the regulation of gene expression during heat stress. Genes and microbiota from the significant modules can be used as biomarkers of heat stress in cattle. 10.3389/fmicb.2022.998093