Body color is an interesting economic trait in fish. Red tilapia with red blotches may decrease its commercial values. Conventional selection of pure red color lines is a time-consuming and labor-intensive process. To accelerate selection of pure lines through marker-assisted selection, in this study, double-digest restriction site-associated DNA sequencing (ddRAD-seq) technology was applied to genotype a full-sib mapping family of Malaysia red tilapia (Oreochromis spp.) (N = 192). Genome-wide significant quantitative trait locus (QTL)-controlling red blotches were mapped onto two chromosomes (chrLG5 and chrLG15) explaining 9.7% and 8.2% of phenotypic variances by a genome-wide association study (GWAS) and linkage-based QTL mapping. Six SNPs from the chromosome chrLG5 (four), chrLG15 (one), and unplaced supercontig GL831288-1 (one) were significantly associated to the red blotch trait in GWAS analysis. We developed nine microsatellite markers and validated significant correlations between genotypes and blotch data (p
Understanding the genetic mechanism of osmoregulation is important for the improvement of salt tolerance in tilapia. In our previous study, we have identified a major quantitative trait locus (QTL) region located at 23.0 Mb of chrLG18 in a Nile tilapia line by QTL-seq. However, the conservation of these QTLs in other tilapia populations or species is not clear. In this study, we successfully investigated the QTLs associated with salt tolerance in a mass cross population from the GIFT line of Nile tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus) using a ddRAD-seq-based genome-wide association study (GWAS) and in a full-sib family from the Malaysia red tilapia strain (Oreochromis spp) using QTL-seq. Our study confirmed the major QTL interval that is located at nearly 23.0 Mb of chrLG18 in Nile tilapia and revealed a long QTL cluster across chrLG18 controlling for the salt-tolerant trait in both red tilapia and Nile tilapia. This is the first GWAS analysis on salt tolerance in tilapia. Our finding provides important insights into the genetic architecture of salinity tolerance in tilapia and supplies a basis for fine mapping QTLs, marker-assisted selection, and further detailed functional analysis of the underlying genes for salt tolerance in tilapia.
Aquaculture is the fastest growing animal production sector. However, the production of marine fish is still hampered by the high mortality rate in the first few weeks after hatching. Mortality in larvae is often caused by microbial infections. Today, the incorporation of immunostimulants into microparticles provides us new tools to enhance disease resistance in marine larviculture. In this study, we prepared alginate microparticles loaded with the model antigen fluorescein isothiocyanate conjugated-bovine serum albumin. Optimum concentrations of alginate and CaCl2, the correct alginate viscosity and the appropriate preparatory conditions led to the creation of desirable microparticles with the correct size for oral feeding in gnotobiotic European sea bass larvae. The prepared alginate microparticles were stable in sea water and were successfully ingested by gnotobiotic sea bass larvae at day after hatching 7 without causing any negative effects. Results suggest the suitability of this drug delivery system for targeting the innate immune system of fish larvae in order to enhance disease resistance and thus reduce mortality in larviculture.
The genus Ostreopsis is an important component of benthic and epiphytic dinoflagellate assemblages in coral reefs and seaweed beds of Malaysia. Members of the species may produce toxins that contribute to ciguatera fish poisoning. In this study, two species have been isolated and cultured, Ostreopsis ovata and Ostreopsis lenticularis. Analyses of the 5.8S subunit and internal transcribed spacer regions ITS1 and ITS2 of the ribosomal RNA gene sequences of these two species showed that they are separate species, consistent with morphological designations. The nucleotide sequences of the 5.8S subunit and ITS1 and ITS2 regions of the rRNA gene were also used to evaluate the interpopulation and intrapopulation genetic diversity of O. ovata found in Malaysian waters. Results showed a low level of sequence divergence within populations. At the interpopulation level, the rRNA gene sequence distinguished two groups of genetically distinct strains, representative of a Malacca Straits group (isolates from Port Dickson) and a South China Sea group (isolates from Pulau Redang and Kota Kinabalu). Part of the sequences in the ITS regions may be useful in the design of oligonucleotide probes specific for each group. Results from this study show that the ITS regions can be used as genetic markers for taxonomic, biogeographic, and fine-scale population studies of this species.
Predominance of beneficial bacteria helps to establish a healthy microbiota in fish gastrointestinal system and thus to reduce emerging pathogen. In this study, the colonization efficacy of Lactococcus lactis subsp. lactis CF4MRS in Artemia franciscana and its potential as a probiotic in suppressing Edwardsiella sp. infection were investigated in vivo. The colonization extent of the bioencapsulated L. lactis was established through visualization of gfp gene-transformed L. lactis in A. franciscana. Here, we demonstrate that when A. franciscana is administrated with L. lactis at 108 CFU mL-1 for 8 h, the highest relative percentage of survival (RPS = 50.0) is observed after inoculation with Edwardsiella sp. The total counts of L. lactis entrapped in Artemia were the highest (ranged from 3.2 to 5.1 × 108 CFU mL-1), when 108-109 CFU mL-1 of L. lactis was used as starting inoculum, with the bioencapsulation performed within 8-24 h. Fluorescent microscopy showed gfp-transformed L. lactis colonized the external trunk surfaces, mid-gut and locomotion antennules of the A. franciscana nauplii. These illustrations elucidate the efficiency of colonization of L. lactis in the gastrointestinal tract and on the body surfaces of Artemia. In conclusion, L. lactis subsp. lactis CF4MRS shows a good efficacy of colonization in Artemia and has the potential for biocontrol/probiotic activity against Edwardsiella sp. infection.
Salinivibrio proteolyticus M318, a halophilic bacterium isolated from fermented shrimp paste, is able to produce polyhydroxyalkanoate (PHA) from different carbon sources. In this study, we report the whole-genome sequence of strain M138, which comprises 2 separated chromosomes and 2 plasmids, and the complete genome contains 3,605,935 bp with an average GC content of 49.9%. The genome of strain M318 contains 3341 genes, 98 tRNA genes, and 28 rRNA genes. The 16S rRNA gene sequence and average nucleotide identity analysis associated with morphological and biochemical tests showed that this strain has high homology to the reference strain Salinivibrio proteolyticus DSM 8285. The genes encoding key enzymes for PHA and ectoine synthesis were identified from the bacterial genome. In addition, the TeaABC transporter responsible for ectoine uptake from the environment and the operon doeABXCD responsible for the degradation of ectoine were also detected. Strain M318 was able to produce poly(3-hydroxybutyrate) [P(3HB)] from different carbon sources such as glycerol, maltose, glucose, fructose, and starch. The ability to produce ectoines at different NaCl concentrations was investigated. High ectoine content of 26.2% of cell dry weight was obtained by this strain at 18% NaCl. This report provides genetic information regarding adaptive mechanisms of strain M318 to stress conditions, as well as new knowledge to facilitate the application of this strain as a bacterial cell factory for the production of PHA and ectoine.
Light regulates photosynthesis, growth and reproduction, yield and properties of phycocolloids, and starch contents in seaweeds. Despite its importance as an environmental cue that regulates many developmental, physiological, and biochemical processes, the network of genes involved during light deprivation are obscure. In this study, we profiled the transcriptome of Gracilaria changii at two different irradiance levels using a cDNA microarray containing more than 3,000 cDNA probes. Microarray analysis revealed that 93 and 105 genes were up- and down-regulated more than 3-fold under light deprivation, respectively. However, only 50% of the transcripts have significant matches to the nonredundant peptide sequences in the database. The transcripts that accumulated under light deprivation include vanadium chloroperoxidase, thioredoxin, ferredoxin component, and reduced nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide dehydrogenase. Among the genes that were down-regulated under light deprivation were genes encoding light harvesting protein, light harvesting complex I, phycobilisome 7.8 kDa linker polypeptide, low molecular weight early light-inducible protein, and vanadium bromoperoxidase. Our findings also provided important clues to the functions of many unknown sequences that could not be annotated using sequence comparison.
The molecular mechanism underlying sex determination and gonadal differentiation of the mud crab (Scylla paramamosain) has received considerable attention, due to the remarkably biological and economic differences between sexes. However, sex-biased genes, especially non-coding genes, which account for these differences, remain elusive in this crustacean species. In this study, the first de novo gonad transcriptome sequencing was performed to identify both differentially expressed genes and long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) between male and female S. paramamosain by using Illumina Hiseq2500. A total of 79,282,758 and 79,854,234 reads were generated from ovarian and testicular cDNA libraries, respectively. After filtrating and de novo assembly, 262,688 unigenes were produced from both libraries. Of these unigenes, 41,125 were annotated with known protein sequences in public databases. Homologous genes involved in sex determination and gonadal development pathways (Sxl-Tra/Tra-2-Dsx/Fru, Wnt4, thyroid hormone synthesis pathway, etc.) were identified. Three hundred and sixteen differentially expressed unigenes were further identified between both transcriptomes. Meanwhile, a total of 233,078 putative lncRNAs were predicted. Of these lncRNAs, 147 were differentially expressed between sexes. qRT-PCR results showed that nine lncRNAs negatively regulated the expression of eight genes, suggesting a potential role in sex differentiation. These findings will provide fundamental resources for further investigation on sex differentiation and regulatory mechanism in crustaceans.
Although the sexual dimorphism in terms of gonadal development and gametogenesis of mud crab has been described, the internal regulating mechanism and sex differentiation process remain unclear. A comparative gonadal miRNA transcriptomic study was conducted to identify miRNAs that are differentially expressed between testes and ovaries, and potentially uncover miRNAs that might be involved in sex differentiation and gonadal maturation mechanisms of mud crabs (Scylla paramamosain). A total of 10 known miRNAs and 130 novel miRNAs were identified, among which 54 were differentially expressed. Target gene prediction revealed a significant enrichment in 30 KEGG pathways, including some reproduction-related pathways, e.g. phosphatidylinositol signalling system and inositol phosphate metabolism pathways. Further analysis on six differentially expressed known miRNAs, six differentially expressed novel miRNAs and their reproduction-related putative target genes shows that both miRNAs and putative target genes showed stage-specific expression during gonadal maturation, suggesting their potential regulatory roles in sex differentiation and reproductive development. This study reveals the sex-biased miRNA profile and establishes a solid foundation for understanding the sex differentiation and gonadal maturation mechanisms of S. paramamosain.
The Christmas Island red crab, Gecarcoidea natalis, is an herbivorous land crab that consumes mostly fallen leaf litter. In order to subsist, G. natalis would need to have developed specialised digestive enzymes capable of supplying significant amounts of metabolisable sugars from this diet. To gain insights into the carbohydrate metabolism of G. natalis, a transcriptome assembly was performed, with a specific focus on identifying transcripts coding for carbohydrate active enzyme (CAZy) using in silico approaches. Transcriptome sequencing of the midgut gland identified 70 CAZy-coding transcripts with varying expression values. At least three newly discovered putative GH9 endo-β-1,4-glucanase ("classic cellulase") transcripts were highly expressed in the midgut gland in addition to the previously characterised GH9 and GH16 (β-1,3-glucanase) transcripts, and underscoring the utility of whole transcriptome in uncovering new CAZy-coding transcripts. A highly expressed transcript coding for GH5_10 previously missed by conventional screening of cellulase activity was inferred to be a novel endo-β-1,4-mannase in G. natalis with in silico support from homology modelling and amino acid alignment with other functionally validated GH5_10 proteins. Maximum likelihood tree reconstruction of the GH5_10 proteins demonstrates the phylogenetic affiliation of the G. natalis GH5_10 transcript to that of other decapods, supporting endogenous expression. Surprisingly, crustacean-derived GH5_10 transcripts were near absent in the current CAZy database and yet mining of the transcriptome shotgun assembly (TSA) recovered more than 100 crustacean GH5_10s in addition to several other biotechnological relevant CAZys, underscoring the unappreciated potential of the TSA database as a valuable resource for crustacean CAZys.
Inadequate gonadal maturation and poor spawning performance increasingly threaten the sustainability of shrimp aquaculture. Unraveling the mechanisms regulating ovarian development and maturation hence is critical to address industry challenges. Vitellogenin (Vtg), a precursor of yolk protein found in the hepatopancreas and ovary of shrimp, plays a key role in facilitating shrimp's oocyte maturation and embryonic development after oviposition. This study found that FpVtg was specifically expressed in F. penicillatus hepatopancreas and ovary. FpVtg was localized predominantly in the oocyte cytoplasm and distributed uniformly in the hepatopancreas tissue. Silencing FpVtg led to apoptosis in both hepatopancreas and ovary tissues. Furthermore, FpVtg depletion upregulated the expression of ovarian peritrophin 1, ovarian peritrophin 2, serine proteinase inhibitor 6, and juvenile hormone esterase-like carboxylesterase 1, while downregulated that of vitellogenin, delta-9 desaturase, and insulin-like receptor. KEGG pathway analysis implicated such as PI3K-AKT signaling, RNA transport, ECM-receptor interaction, hippo signaling, oocyte meiosis, and apoptosis were enriched and involved in ovarian development. These findings have provided insights into the FpVtg's reproductive role and the associated regulatory genes and pathways in F. penicillatus. This knowledge can contribute to establishing strategies to improve the breeding and aquaculture production of F. penicillatus by elucidating its vitellogenesis regulation in redtail prawn and other penaeid species. Further characterization of the implicated pathways and genes will clarify the intricacies underlying ovarian maturation.
Moina micrura represents a promising model species for ecological and ecotoxicological investigations in tropical freshwater ecosystems. Illumina NovaSeq™ 6000 sequencing was employed in this study to analyze M. micrura across three distinct developmental stages: juvenile, adult, and male. Current study successfully annotated 51,547 unigenes (73.11%) derived from seven (7) different databases. A total of 554 genes were found to be significantly upregulated, while 452 genes showed significant downregulation between juvenile and male. Moreover, 1001 genes were upregulated, whereas 830 genes exhibited downregulation between the adult and male. Analysis of differentially expressed genes revealed upregulation of chitin, cuticle, myosin (MYO), mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPK), fibrillin (FBN), cytochrome (CYP), glutathione s-transferase (GST), vitellogenin (VTG), acetylcholinesterase (AChE), and transforming growth factor beta (TGFB) under unfavorable environmental conditions (male), as compared to favorable environmental conditions (juveniles and adults). These alterations in gene expression significantly impact the phenological and life-history traits of M. micrura. Furthermore, the upregulation of hemoglobin (HMB), doublesex (DSX), juvenile hormone analogs (JHA), heat shock protein (HSP), and methyltransferase (METT) genes in males initiates the sex-switching effects observed in M. micrura. These findings hold substantial value for researchers interested in determining M. micrura sequences for future investigations of gene expression and comparative reproductive genome analysis within the Moina genus and cladoceran families.
Many bacterial epiphytes of agar-producing seaweeds secrete agarase that degrade algal cell wall matrix into oligoagars which elicit defense-related responses in the hosts. The molecular defense responses of red seaweeds are largely unknown. In this study, we surveyed the defense-related transcripts of an agarophyte, Gracilaria changii, treated with β-agarase through next generation sequencing (NGS). We also compared the defense responses of seaweed elicited by agarase with those elicited by an agarolytic bacterium isolated from seaweed, by profiling the expression of defense-related genes using quantitative reverse transcription real-time PCR (qRT-PCR). NGS detected a total of 391 differentially expressed genes (DEGs) with a higher abundance (>2-fold change with a p value <0.001) in the agarase-treated transcriptome compared to that of the non-treated G. changii. Among these DEGs were genes related to signaling, bromoperoxidation, heme peroxidation, production of aromatic amino acids, chorismate, and jasmonic acid. On the other hand, the genes encoding a superoxide-generating NADPH oxidase and related to photosynthesis were downregulated. The expression of these DEGs was further corroborated by qRT-PCR results which showed more than 90 % accuracy. A comprehensive analysis of their gene expression profiles between 1 and 24 h post treatments (hpt) revealed that most of the genes analyzed were consistently upregulated or downregulated by both agarase and agarolytic bacterial treatments, indicating that the defense responses induced by both treatments are highly similar except for genes encoding vanadium bromoperoxidase and animal heme peroxidase. Our study has provided the first glimpse of the molecular defense responses of G. changii to agarase and agarolytic bacterial treatments.
Type III polyketide synthases (PKSs) produce an array of metabolites with diverse functions. In this study, we have cloned the complete reading frame encoding type III PKS (SbPKS) from a brown seaweed, Sargassum binderi, and characterized the activity of its recombinant protein biochemically. The deduced amino acid sequence of SbPKS is 414 residues in length, sharing a higher sequence similarity with bacterial PKSs (38% identity) than with plant PKSs. The Cys-His-Asn catalytic triad of PKS is conserved in SbPKS with differences in some of the residues lining the active and CoA binding sites. The wild-type SbPKS displayed broad starter substrate specificity to aliphatic long-chain acyl-CoAs (C(6)-C(14)) to produce tri- and tetraketide pyrones. Mutations at H(331) and N(364) caused complete loss of its activity, thus suggesting that these two residues are the catalytic residues for SbPKS as in other type III PKSs. Furthermore, H227G, H227G/L366V substitutions resulted in increased tetraketide-forming activity, while wild-type SbPKS produces triketide α-pyrone as a major product. On the other hand, mutant H227G/L366V/F93A/V95A demonstrated a dramatic decrease of tetraketide pyrone formation. These observations suggest that His(227) and Leu(366) play an important role for the polyketide elongation reaction in SbPKS. The conformational changes in protein structure especially the cavity of the active site may have more significant effect to the activity of SbPKS compared with changes in individual residues.
Vanadium-dependent haloperoxidases (V-HPO), able to catalyze the reaction of halide ions (Cl-, Br-, I-) with hydrogen peroxide, have a great influence on the production of halocarbons, which in turn are involved in atmospheric ozone destruction and global warming. The production of these haloperoxidases in macroalgae is influenced by changes in the surrounding environment. The first reported vanadium bromoperoxidase was discovered 40 years ago in the brown alga Ascophyllum nodosum. Since that discovery, more studies have been conducted on the structure and mechanism of the enzyme, mainly focused on three types of V-HPO, the chloro- and bromoperoxidases and, more recently, the iodoperoxidase. Since aspects of environmental regulation of haloperoxidases are less well known, the present paper will focus on reviewing the factors which influence the production of these enzymes in macroalgae, particularly their interactions with reactive oxygen species (ROS).