Screening of mud crab genus Scylla was conducted in four locations (Marudu Bay, Lundu, Taiping, Setiu) representing Malaysia. Scylla olivacea with abnormal primary and secondary sexual characters were prevalent (approximately 42.27% of the local screened S. olivacea population) in Marudu Bay, Sabah. A total of six different types of abnormalities were described. Crabs with type 1 and type 3 were immature males, type 2 and type 4 were mature males, type 5 were immature females and type 6 were mature females. The abdomen of all crabs with abnormalities were dented on both sides along the abdomen's middle line. Abnormal crabs showed significant variation in their size, weight, abdomen width and/or gonopod or pleopod length compared to normal individuals. The mean body weight of abnormal crabs (type 1-5) were higher than normal crabs with smaller body size, while females with type 6 abnormality were always heavier than the normal counterparts at any given size. Sacculinid's externa were observed in the abdomen of crabs with type 4 and type 6 abnormalities. The presence of embryos within the externa and subsequent molecular analysis of partial mitochondrial COI region confirmed the rhizocephalan parasite as Sacculina beauforti. Future in-depth descriptions of the life cycle and characteristics of S. beauforti are recommended as it involves a commercially important edible crab species and the effect on human health from the consumption of crabs is of crucial concern.
Bivalves are nutritious animal protein source for humans, rich in high quality proteins, lipids, and carbohydrates. Many studies have shown that ocean warming has detrimental effects on the nutritional quality of bivalves. Although a number of studies are available on the effect of ocean warming on the nutritional value of bivalves, this information is not well organized. In this context, the current study provides a critical review of the effects of ocean warming on the nutritional quality of commercially important edible marine bivalves. In general, ocean warming has caused a reduction in the total lipid and carbohydrate content of bivalves, especially those bivalves inhabiting temperate regions. As for protein, there is no general trend in the effects of ocean warming on the protein reserves of bivalves. In addition, the specific effects of elevated temperature on the macro-nutrients of bivalves highly depend on the tissues, sex and developmental stages of bivalves, as well as seasonal factors. This review not only fills in the knowledge gap regarding the effects of elevated temperature on the macro-nutrients of commercially important marine bivalves but also provides guidance for the establishment of bivalve aquaculture and fisheries management plans to mitigate the impact of climate change.
Sexual dimorphism is a common phenomenon in the animal kingdom. To test the consistency of sexual dimorphism patterns among sympatric species of the same genus, ten morphometric characteristics of mud crabs Scylla olivacea, S. tranquebarica and S. paramamosain were measured and compared using Discriminant Function Analysis (DFA). The descriptive analysis revealed that in all three species, body size dimensions and cheliped dimensions were significantly larger in males whereas the abdomen width was female-biased. Also, we described a morphological variation (carapace width, CW ≤ CW at spine 8, 8CW) that is unique to S. olivacea. Discriminant function analysis revealed that all nine morphometric characteristics were sexually dimorphic in S. olivacea, S. tranquebarica (except right cheliped's merus length, ML) and S. paramamosain (except 8CW). The obtained discriminant functions based on the morphometric ratios (with CW as divisor) correctly classified 100% of adults of known sex of all three species. Further, based on the selected body traits, DFA was able to almost completely distinguish males (94%), but not females (74%), among the three Scylla species. This study highlights that congeneric species of portunids (e.g., Scylla spp.) show similar sexually dimorphic characteristics (body size and secondary sexual characteristics).
The mitochondrial genome plays an important role in studies on phylogeography and population genetic diversity. Here we report the complete mitochondrial genome of Lupocycloporus gracilimanus (Stimpson, 1858) which is the first mitochondrial genome reported in genus Lupocycloporus by now. The mitogenome is 15,990 bp in length, consisting of 13 protein-coding genes, 22 transfer RNA genes, two ribosomal RNA genes and a putative control region. The phylogenetic analysis showed that L. gracilimanus was closest to genus Scylla. The present research should provide valuable information for phylogenetic analysis and classification of Portunidae.
The complete mitochondrial genome sequence of Atergatis integerrimus from China has been amplified and sequenced in this study. The mitogenome assembly was found to be 15,924 bp in length with base composition of A (32.88%), G (10.58%), C (20.87%), T (35.66%), A + T (68.54%), and G + C (31.46%). It contained 13 protein-coding genes, 22 transfer RNA genes, two ribosomal RNA genes and a control region. The phylogenetic position was constructed and the A. integerrimus was closely clustered with Pseudocarcinus gigas and Leptodius sanguineus. The complete mitochondrial genome sequence would be useful for further understanding the evolution of A. integerrimus.
In this study, we sequenced and analyzed the whole mitochondrial genome of Metopograpsus frontalis Miers, 1880 (Decapoda, Grapsidae). The circular genome is 15,587 bp in length, consisting of 13 protein-coding genes, 22 transfer RNA genes, 2 ribosomal RNA genes, as well as a control region. Both atp8/atp6 and nad4L/nad4 share 7 nucleotides in their adjacent overlapping region, which is identical to those observed in other Grapsidae crabs. The genome composition and gene order follow a classic crab-type arrangement regulation. The phylogenetic analysis suggested that Grapsidae crabs formed a solid monophyletic group. The newly described mitochondrial genome may provide genetic marker for studies on phylogeny of the grapsid crabs.
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.
Adequate genetic information is essential for sustainable crustacean fisheries and aquaculture management. The commercially important orange mud crab, Scylla olivacea, is prevalent in Southeast Asia region and is highly sought after. Although it is a suitable aquaculture candidate, full domestication of this species is hampered by the lack of knowledge about the sexual maturation process and the molecular mechanisms behind it, especially in males. To date, data on its whole genome is yet to be reported for S. olivacea. The available transcriptome data published previously on this species focus primarily on females and the role of central nervous system in reproductive development. De novo transcriptome sequencing for the testes of S. olivacea from immature, maturing and mature stages were performed. A total of approximately 144 million high-quality reads were generated and de novo assembled into 160,569 transcripts with a total length of 142.2 Mb. Approximately 15-23% of the total assembled transcripts were annotated when compared to public protein sequence databases (i.e. UniProt database, Interpro database, Pfam database and Drosophila melanogaster protein database), and GO-categorised with GO Ontology terms. A total of 156,181 high-quality Single-Nucleotide Polymorphisms (SNPs) were mined from the transcriptome data of present study. Transcriptome comparison among the testes of different maturation stages revealed one gene (beta crystallin like gene) with the most significant differential expression-up-regulated in immature stage and down-regulated in maturing and mature stages. This was further validated by qRT-PCR. In conclusion, a comprehensive transcriptome of the testis of orange mud crabs from different maturation stages were obtained. This report provides an invaluable resource for enhancing our understanding of this species' genome structure and biology, as expressed and controlled by their gonads.
PIWI-interacting RNAs (piRNAs) are abundantly found in germ cells and involved in gametogenesis and gonadal development. Information on the regulatory roles of piRNAs in crustacean reproduction, however, is scarce. Thus, we identified gonadal piRNAs of mud crab Scylla paramamosain. Of the 115,491 novel piRNAs, 596 were differentially expressed. Subsequently, 389,887 potential piRNA-target genes were predicted. The expression of 4 piRNAs and 9 genes with high piRNA interactions were validated with the inclusion of additional immature specimens, including LRP2 that is involved in growth and reproduction, MDN1 in ribosome biogenesis pathway and gametogenesis, and PRKDC, a DNA repair gene involved in gonadal differentiation and maturation. KEGG analysis further revealed the involvement of predicted piRNA target genes in gametogenesis- and reproduction-related pathways. Our findings provide baseline information of mud crab piRNAs and their differential expression between testes and ovaries suggests that piRNAs play an essential role in regulating gametogenesis and gonadal development.
Protein-protein interactions (PPIs) are essential for understanding cell physiology in normal and pathological conditions, as they might involve in all cellular processes. PPIs have been widely used to elucidate the pathobiology of human and plant diseases. Therefore, they can also be used to unveil the pathobiology of infectious diseases in shrimp, which is one of the high-risk factors influencing the success or failure of shrimp production. PPI network analysis, specifically host-pathogen PPI (HP-PPI), provides insights into the molecular interactions between the shrimp and pathogens. This review quantitatively analyzed the research trends within this field through bibliometric analysis using specific keywords, countries, authors, organizations, journals, and documents. This analysis has screened 206 records from the Scopus database for determining eligibility, resulting in 179 papers that were retrieved for bibliometric analysis. The analysis revealed that China and Thailand were the driving forces behind this specific field of research and frequently collaborated with the United States. Aquaculture and Diseases of Aquatic Organisms were the prominent sources for publications in this field. The main keywords identified included "white spot syndrome virus," "WSSV," and "shrimp." We discovered that studies on HP-PPI are currently quite scarce. As a result, we further discussed the significance of HP-PPI by highlighting various approaches that have been previously adopted. These findings not only emphasize the importance of HP-PPI but also pave the way for future researchers to explore the pathogenesis of infectious diseases in shrimp. By doing so, preventative measures and enhanced treatment strategies can be identified.
The crucifix crab, Charybdis feriatus, which mainly inhabits Indo-Pacific region, is regarded as one of the most high-potential species for domestication and incorporation into the aquaculture sector. However, the regulatory mechanisms of sex determination and differentiation of this species remain unclear. To identify candidate genes involved in sex determination and differentiation, high throughput sequencing of transcriptome from the testis and ovary of C. feriatus was performed by the Illumina platform. After removing adaptor primers, low-quality sequences and very short (<50 nt) reads, we obtained 80.9 million and 66.2 million clean reads from testis and ovary, respectively. A total of 86,433 unigenes were assembled, and ~43% (37,500 unigenes) were successfully annotated to the NR, NT, Swiss-Prot, KEGG, COG, GO databases. By comparing the testis and ovary libraries, we obtained 27,636 differentially expressed genes. Some candidate genes involved in the sex determination and differentiation of C. feriatus were identified, such as vasa, pgds, vgr, hsp90, dsx-f, fem-1, and gpr. In addition, 88,608 simple sequence repeats were obtained, and 61,929 and 77,473 single nucleotide polymorphisms from testis and ovary were detected, respectively. The transcriptome profiling was validated by quantitative real-time PCR in 30 selected genes, which showed a good consistency. The present study is the first high-throughput transcriptome sequencing of C. feriatus. These findings will be useful for future functional analysis of sex-associated genes and molecular marker-assisted selections in C. feriatus.
Global human population has increased dramatically over the past 50 years. As a result, marine fisheries and finfish aquaculture have become increasingly unsustainable, driving bivalve aquaculture to become an important food industry for the production of marine animal protein to support the growing market demand for animal protein. It is projected that the rate of bivalve aquaculture expansion will be greatly accelerated in the near future as the human population continues to increase. Although it is generally believed that unfed bivalve aquaculture has less impact on the environment than finfish aquaculture, the rapid expansion of bivalve aquaculture has raised concerns about its potential negative impact, especially on plankton and benthic community. Therefore, there is an urgent need to update the potential effects of bivalve aquaculture on plankton and benthic community. This article reviews the present state of knowledge on environmental issues related to bivalve aquaculture, and discusses potential mitigation measures for the environmental impacts induced by expansion of bivalve aquaculture. This review provides guidance for scientists and farm managers to clarify the current state of research and identify priority research needs for future bivalve aquaculture research. Therefore, specific management strategies can be formulated for the sustainable development and expansion of bivalve aquaculture.
Mud crabs (Scylla spp.) are commercially important crustacean species that can be found throughout the Indo-West Pacific region. During culture, the induction of ovarian maturation is important to meet the consumer demand for mature mud crabs and hasten seed production. Eyestalk ablation is an effective tool to enhance ovarian maturation in mud crabs. However, there is no standard protocol for the eyestalk ablation of mud crabs. In this study, two eyestalk ablation techniques are described: cauterization (the use of hot metal to ablate the eyestalk of an anesthetized crab) and surgery (the removal of the eyestalk using surgical scissors). Before eyestalk ablation, sexually mature females (CW > 86 mm) were anesthetized using an ice bag (-20 °C) with seawater. When the water temperature reached 4 °C, the ice bag was removed from the water. Flowing seawater (ambient temperature: 28 °C) was used for recovery from the anesthesia immediately after eyestalk ablation. Mortality did not occur during or after the process of eyestalk ablation. The eyestalk ablation protocol presented here accelerated the ovarian maturation of the mud crabs.
Crustaceans possess a range of sensory organs crucial in sensory perception, communication, and various ecological functions. Understanding morphological and functional differences in antennae among species could validate taxonomic differentiation and ecological adaptations. The antennae morphology and ultrastructure of mud crab species within the Scylla genus are poorly understood, and their role in ecological adaptation and species differentiation remains unexplored. This study aimed to describe and compare the morphology and ultrastructure of antennae in Scylla olivacea, Scylla tranquebarica, and Scylla paramamosain. Antennae were carefully excised from each crab and subjected to morphological, morphometric, and ultrastructural analysis. The study revealed that the antennae of Scylla species exhibit similar overall morphology, with a series of segments that tapered toward the upper end. All species possess non-branched single setae on the upper end of each segment. The number of antennae segments varied between species, with S. paramamosain having significantly more segments than S. olivacea. Additionally, the length and width of antenna segments differed among the species, with S. tranquebarica having a rougher antenna surface compared to S. olivacea and S. paramamosain. Our findings suggest that Scylla's antennae are distinct between species, especially in the number of segments and setae size. Such difference might be related to ecological adaptation. The role of antennae in sensory perception and social behavioral cues in mud crabs warrants further investigation. This study serves as a foundational reference for future research on the taxonomy, ecological adaptation, and sensory behaviors in the Scylla genus. RESEARCH HIGHLIGHTS: Variations and similarities in morphology and ultrastructure of three Scylla species can be found in the antennae. Scylla paramamosain had significantly higher number of segments than Scylla olivacea in morphology feature. The antennae surface of Scylla tranquebarica was rougher than that of S. olivacea and S. paramamosain. Antennae of three Scylla species possess non-branched single setae.
In this study, we first identified male-specific SNP markers using restriction site-associated DNA sequencing, and further developed a PCR-based sex identification technique for Charybdis feriatus. A total of 296.96 million clean reads were obtained, with 114.95 and 182.01 million from females and males. After assembly and alignment, 10 SNP markers were identified being heterozygous in males but homozygous in females. Five markers were further confirmed to be male-specific in a large number of individuals. Moreover, two male-specific sense primers and a common antisense primer were designed, using which, a PCR-based genetic sex identification method was successfully developed and used to identify the sex of 103 individuals, with a result of 49 females and 54 males. The presence of male-specific SNP markers suggests an XX/XY sex determination system for C. feriatus. These findings should be helpful for better understanding sex determination mechanism, and drafting artificial breeding program in crustaceans.
Mud crab, Scylla paramamosain is one of the most important crustacean species in global aquaculture. To determine the genetic basis of sex and growth-related traits in S. paramamosain, a high-density genetic linkage map with 16,701 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) was constructed using SLAF-seq and a full-sib family. The consensus map has 49 linkage groups, spanning 5,996.66 cM with an average marker-interval of 0.81 cM. A total of 516 SNP markers, including 8 female-specific SNPs segregated in two quantitative trait loci (QTLs) for phenotypic sex were located on LG32. The presence of female-specific SNP markers only on female linkage map, their segregation patterns and lower female: male recombination rate strongly suggest the conformation of a ZW/ZZ sex determination system in S. paramamosain. The QTLs of most (90%) growth-related traits were found within a small interval (25.18-33.74 cM) on LG46, highlighting the potential involvement of LG46 in growth. Four markers on LG46 were significantly associated with 10-16 growth-related traits. BW was only associated with marker 3846. Based on the annotation of transcriptome data, 11 and 2 candidate genes were identified within the QTL regions of sex and growth-related traits, respectively. The newly constructed high-density genetic linkage map with sex-specific SNPs, and the identified QTLs of sex- and growth-related traits serve as a valuable genetic resource and solid foundation for marker-assisted selection and genetic improvement of crustaceans.
The complete mitochondrial genome plays an important role in the research on phylogenetic relationship. Here, we reported the first complete mitochondrial genome sequence of Varuna yui Hwang & Takeda, 1986 (Varunidae). The complete mtDNA (15,915 bp in length) consisted of 13 protein-coding genes, 22 tRNAs, two rRNA genes, and a control region. The gene arrangement was identical to those observed in the Varunidae species. The phylogenetic analysis suggested that V. yui had close relationship with other Varunidae species (Helicetient sinensis, Eriocher sinesis, etc.). The newly described genome may facilitate further comparative mitogenomic analysis within Varunidae species.
The nursery stages of mud crab, genus Scylla, proceed from the megalopa stage to crablet instar stages. We review the definition and several of the key stages in mud crab nursery activities. The practice of the direct stocking of megalopa into ponds is not recommended due to their sensitivity. Instead, nursery rearing is needed to grow-out mud crabs of a larger size before pond stocking. Individual nursery rearing results in a higher survival rate at the expense of growth and a more complicated maintenance process compared with communal rearing. The nursery of mud crabs can be done both indoors or outdoors with adequate shelter and feed required to obtain a good survival percentage and growth performance. Artemia nauplii are still irreplaceable as nursery feed, particularly at the megalopa stage, while the survival rate may be improved if live feed is combined with artificial feed such as microbound diet formulations. Water quality parameters, identical to those proposed in tiger shrimp cultures, can be implemented in mud crab rearing. The transportation of crablets between different locations can be done with or without water. The provision of monosex seeds from mud crab hatcheries is expected to become commonplace, increasing seed price and thus improving the income of farmers. Numerous aspects of a mud crab nursery including nutrition; feeding strategies; understanding their behaviour, i.e., cannibalism; control of environmental factors and practical rearing techniques still need further improvement.
Infection by the rhizocephalan parasite Sacculina beauforti can have detrimental effects on mud crab Scylla olivacea. However, the molecular changes that occur during rhizocephalan infection are poorly understood. Due to the disruption in the reproductive system after infection, the gonadal transcriptomic profiles of non-infected and infected Scylla olivacea were compared. A total of 686 and 843 unigenes were differentially expressed between non-infected and infected males, and females, respectively. The number of DEGs increased after infection. By comparing shared DEGs of non-infected and infected individuals, potential immune- and reproduction-related of host, and immune- and metabolism-related genes of parasite are highlighted. The only shared KEGG pathway between non-infected and infected individuals was the ribosome pathway. In summary, findings in this study provide new insights into the host-parasite relationship of rhizocephalan parasites and their crustacean hosts.
There are four species of mud crabs within the genus Scylla, and most of them live sympatrically in the equatorial region. Apart from a report in Japan about the finding of a natural Scylla hybrid more than a decade ago after the division of genus Scylla into four species by Keenan, Davie & Mann (1998), no subsequent sighting was found. Thus, this study investigates the possible natural occurrence of potential hybridization among Scylla species in the wild. A total of 76,211 individuals from mud crab landing sites around the Malacca Straits, South China Sea and Sulu Sea were screened. In addition to the four-purebred species, four groups (SH 1, n = 2, 627; SH 2, n = 136; SH 3, n = 1; SH 4, n = 2) with intermediate characteristics were found, mostly at Sulu Sea. Discriminant Function Analysis revealed that all Scylla species, including SH 1 - 4, are distinguishable via their morphometric ratios. The most powerful discriminant ratios for each character and the top five discriminant ratios of males and females were suggested. The carapace width of SH 1 males and females were significantly smaller than pure species. Based on the discriminant ratios and the description of morphological characters, we hypothesize that the additional four groups of Scylla with intermediate characteristics could be presumed hybrids. Future work at the molecular level is urgently needed to validate this postulate.