Gene expression in natural subyearling fall Chinook salmon in the Snake and Clearwater Rivers
ABSTRACT: We used gene expression accompanied by physical characteristics and gill Na+/K+-ATPase activity to analyze physiological differences associated with two life history variations of juvenile fall Chinook Salmon in the Snake River basin. Subyearlings originating in the Snake River typically migrate seaward as subyearlings, whereas many subyearlings from the Clearwater River delay seaward migration during summer and complete seaward migration the following spring as yearlings. We examined gill Na+/K+-ATPase activity and gene expression of subyearlings at different times during rearing and seaward emigration. Natural-origin Snake River subyearlings rearing under an increasing photoperiod and seasonally increasing temperatures showed a typical increasing pattern of parr to smolt gill Na+/K+-ATPase activity development, which then declined into autumn. In contrast, Clearwater River subyearlings that had experienced cooler temperatures showed no pattern of increasing gill Na+/K+-ATPase activities and were not different from parr. Liver transcription of genes involved in DNA repair and binding, the cell cycle, metabolism (steroid, fatty acid and other metabolic pathways) iron homeostasis, heme and oxygen binding, the immune response, and male sexual development were enriched amongst genes differentially expressed between Snake River parr versus smolts. Gene expression results confirmed that Clearwater River subyearlings were parr-like in their physiological status. By autumn, subyearlings had low gill Na+/K+-ATPase activities despite their large size and external smolt characteristics. We suggest that environmental factors like temperature and photoperiod influence subyearling physiological status in each river that ultimately dictates juvenile life history pathways. Non-migrating and migrating natural subyearling fall Chinook salmon were collected from the Snake River. Non-migrating natural subyearling fall Chinook salmon were collected from the Clearwater River. Twelve fish were collected at each of four different time points for a total of 48 fish. Total RNA was extracted from the liver of each fish. Equal amounts of RNA from three fish were pooled to create four pools of RNA per time point. Each RNA pool was hybridized to an array for a total of 16 arrays with four arrays per time point.
Project description:Transcripts of the gill epithelium from three different stocks of Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar) migrating from freshwater river to lake (Saimaa stock, SS), brackish water (Neva stock, NS) or seawater (Teno stock, TS) were compared at three successive developmental stages (parr, smolt and postsmolt) using the 16K GRASP cDNA microarray platform.
Project description:While nonanadromous males (stream-resident and/or mature male parr) contribute to reproduction in anadromous salmonids, little is known about their impacts on key population genetic parameters. Here, we evaluated the contribution of Atlantic salmon mature male parr to the effective number of breeders (Nb) using both demographic (variance in reproductive success) and genetic (linkage disequilibrium) methods, the number of alleles, and the relatedness among breeders. We used a recently published pedigree reconstruction of a wild anadromous Atlantic salmon population in which 2548 fry born in 2010 were assigned parentage to 144 anadromous female and 101 anadromous females that returned to the river to spawn in 2009 and to 462 mature male parr. Demographic and genetic methods revealed that mature male parr increased population Nb by 1.79 and 1.85 times, respectively. Moreover, mature male parr boosted the number of alleles found among progenies. Finally, mature male parr were in average less related to anadromous females than were anadromous males, likely because of asynchronous sexual maturation between mature male parr and anadromous fish of a given cohort. By increasing Nb and allelic richness, and by decreasing inbreeding, the reproductive contribution of mature male parr has important evolutionary and conservation implications for declining Atlantic salmon populations.
Project description:Early marine survival of juvenile salmon is intimately associated with their physiological condition during smoltification and ocean entry. Smoltification (parr-smolt transformation) is a developmental process that allows salmon to acquire seawater tolerance in preparation for marine living. Traditionally, this developmental process has been monitored using gill Na+/K+-ATPase (NKA) activity or plasma hormones, but gill gene expression offers the possibility of another method. Here, we describe the discovery of candidate genes from gill tissue for staging smoltification using comparisons of microarray studies with particular focus on the commonalities between anadromous Rainbow trout and Sockeye salmon datasets, as well as a literature comparison encompassing more species. A subset of 37 candidate genes mainly from the microarray analyses was used for TaqMan quantitative PCR assay design and their expression patterns were validated using gill samples from four groups, representing three species and two ecotypes: Coho salmon, Sockeye salmon, stream-type Chinook salmon and ocean-type Chinook salmon. The best smoltification biomarkers, as measured by consistent changes across these four groups, were genes involved in ion regulation, oxygen transport and immunity. Smoltification gene expression patterns (using the top 10 biomarkers) were confirmed by significant correlations with NKA activity and were associated with changes in body brightness, caudal fin darkness and caudal peduncle length. We incorporate gene expression patterns of pre-smolt, smolt and de-smolt trials from acute seawater transfers from a companion study to develop a preliminary seawater tolerance classification model for ocean-type Chinook salmon. This work demonstrates the potential of gene expression biomarkers to stage smoltification and classify juveniles as pre-smolt, smolt or de-smolt.
Project description:a salmonid microarray was used to characterize environmentally-regulated shifts in gene expression between ocean and river habitats in gill and liver tissues of wild migrating adult Pacific sockeye salmon (Oncorhynchus nerka). To correlate gene expression with survival, non-lethal biopsy sampling of gill tissue and microarray-based profiling was combined with biotelemetry and genetic stock identification so that transcriptomic profiles could be compared between fish reaching spawning grounds and presumed mortalities. Overall design: Fish were captured fish at two marine sampling sites, one within Johnstone Strait (JS), BC. Canada and one within Juan De Fuca Strait (JDFS), BC Canada. Ocean sites were contrasted to fish sampled within the Fraser River at Whonnock (W), BC, Canada. Gill and liver tissues were dissected at each of these sites. Non-lethal biopsy sampling was performed on migrating sockeye salmon intercepted within the Fraser River at Mission, BC, Canada and genetically-based stock ID was used to determine the stock-specific spawning grounds for each fish, giving an intended end-point of migration for each of the stocks investigated in this study.Gene expression levels were determined by comparing the amount of mRNA transcript in the experimental samples relative to a reference sample. A total of 123 microarrays were used to generate the dataset, corresponding to individual hybridizations of both gill and liver samples collected from JS (gill n=14; liver n=15), JDFS (gill n=15; liver n=13), W (gill n=11; liver n=10), and biopsy sampled gill tissue collected at Mission (n=45).Total RNA was amplified (1 round) with MessageAmpTMII-96 kit (Ambion, TX, USA), and reverse transcribed to cDNA before labelling with ALEXA dyes using the Invitrogen Indirect Labelling Kit. The reference contained the combined aRNA of all individuals used in the experiment, excluding bioposy sampled fish. Individual samples were labelled with Alexa 555 and the reference control with Alexa 647, and no dye swaps were perfromed.
Project description:Elevated river water temperature in the Fraser River, British Columbia, Canada, has been associated with enhanced mortality of adult sockeye salmon (Oncorhynchus nerka) during their upriver migration to spawning grounds. We undertook a study to assess the effects of elevated water temperatures on the gill transcriptome and blood plasma variables in wild-caught sockeye salmon. Naturally migrating sockeye salmon returning to the Fraser River were collected and held at ecologically relevant temperatures of 14°C and 19°C for seven days, a period representing a significant portion of their upstream migration. After seven days, sockeye salmon held at 19°C stimulated heat shock response genes as well as many genes associated with an immune response when compared with fish held at 14°C. Additionally, fish at 19°C had elevated plasma chloride and lactate, suggestive of a disturbance in osmoregulatory homeostasis and a stress response detectable in the blood plasma. Fish that died prematurely over the course of the holding study were compared with time-matched surviving fish; the former fish were characterized by an upregulation of several transcription factors associated with apoptosis and downregulation of genes involved in immune function and antioxidant activity. Ornithine decarboxylase (ODC1) was the most significantly upregulated gene in dying salmon, which suggests an association with cellular apoptosis. We hypothesize that the observed decrease in plasma ions and increases in plasma cortisol that occur in dying fish may be linked to the increase in ODC1. By highlighting these underlying physiological mechanisms, this study enhances our understanding of the processes involved in premature mortality and temperature stress in Pacific salmon during migration to spawning grounds.
Project description:a salmonid microarray was used to characterize environmentally-regulated shifts in gene expression between ocean and river habitats in gill and liver tissues of wild migrating adult Pacific sockeye salmon (Oncorhynchus nerka). To correlate gene expression with survival, non-lethal biopsy sampling of gill tissue and microarray-based profiling was combined with biotelemetry and genetic stock identification so that transcriptomic profiles could be compared between fish reaching spawning grounds and presumed mortalities. Fish were captured fish at two marine sampling sites, one within Johnstone Strait (JS), BC. Canada and one within Juan De Fuca Strait (JDFS), BC Canada. Ocean sites were contrasted to fish sampled within the Fraser River at Whonnock (W), BC, Canada. Gill and liver tissues were dissected at each of these sites. Non-lethal biopsy sampling was performed on migrating sockeye salmon intercepted within the Fraser River at Mission, BC, Canada and genetically-based stock ID was used to determine the stock-specific spawning grounds for each fish, giving an intended end-point of migration for each of the stocks investigated in this study.Gene expression levels were determined by comparing the amount of mRNA transcript in the experimental samples relative to a reference sample. A total of 123 microarrays were used to generate the dataset, corresponding to individual hybridizations of both gill and liver samples collected from JS (gill n=14; liver n=15), JDFS (gill n=15; liver n=13), W (gill n=11; liver n=10), and biopsy sampled gill tissue collected at Mission (n=45).Total RNA was amplified (1 round) with MessageAmpTMII-96 kit (Ambion, TX, USA), and reverse transcribed to cDNA before labelling with ALEXA dyes using the Invitrogen Indirect Labelling Kit. The reference contained the combined aRNA of all individuals used in the experiment, excluding bioposy sampled fish. Individual samples were labelled with Alexa 555 and the reference control with Alexa 647, and no dye swaps were perfromed.
Project description:Farmed and wild Atlantic salmon are exposed to many infectious and non-infectious challenges that can cause mortality when they enter the sea. Exercise before transfer promotes growth, health and survival in the sea. Swimming performance in juveniles at the freshwater parr stage is positively associated with resistance to some diseases. Genetic variation is likely to affect response to exercise. In this study we map genetic differences associated with aerobic exercise, swimming performance and genetic origin. Eggs from the selectively bred Bolaks salmon and wild Lærdal River salmon strains were reared until parr in a common environment. Swimming performance was assessed by subjecting the fish to either continuous hard exercise or control conditions for 18 days. Heart was sampled for examination of gene expression using RNA-seq (~60 fish/treatment).Lower expression of genes affecting immune function was found in domesticated than wild parr. Among wild parr under control exercise the expression of a large number of genes involved in general metabolism, stress and immune response was lower in superior swimmers suggesting that minimisation of energy expenditure during periods of low activity makes parr better able to sustain bursts of swimming for predator avoidance. A similar set of genes were down-regulated with training among wild parr with inferior swimming performance. These parr react to training in a way that their cardiac expression patterns become like the superior performing wild parr under control exercise conditions. Diversifying selection caused by breeding of domesticated stock, and adaptive pressures in wild stock, has affected the expression and frequency of single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) for multiple functional groups of genes affecting diverse processes. SNPs associated with swimming performance in wild parr map to genes involved in energetic processes, coding for contractile filaments in the muscle and controlling cell proliferation.Domesticated parr have less phenotypic plasticity in response to training and lower expression of genes with functions affecting immune response. The genetic response to training is complex and depends on the background of parr and their swimming ability. Exercise should be tailored to the genetics and swimming performance of fish.
Project description:The aim of the current examination was to evaluate if sedation and anesthetic treatment techniques affect the quality of RNA extracted from liver, gill, head kidney and brain tissues in Atlantic salmon Salmo salar L. Blood parameters were measured and tissue specimens sampled in six groups of fish; one control group (0 minutes), two groups kept in pure seawater in 90 liter tanks for 30 and 120 minutes, two groups treated with the anesthetic isoeugenol for 30 and 120 minutes, and one group kept in pure seawater for 105 minutes and then anaesthetized with metacaine for 15 minutes. RNA quality was assessed with the NanoDrop ND-1000 spectrophotometer (260/280 and 260/230 nm ratios) and with the Agilent Bioanalyzer (28S/18S ratio and RIN data) in samples either preserved in liquefied nitrogen (N2) or in RNAlater. In addition, the transcriptional levels of two fast-responding genes were quantified in gill and brain tissues.The results show that physiological stress during sampling does not affect the quality of RNA extracted from fish specimens. However, prolonged sedation (2 hours) resulted in a metabolic alkalosis that again affected the transcriptional levels of genes involved in ionoregulation and respiration. In gills, Na+-K+-ATPase alpha1b was significantly downregulated and hypoxia inducible factor 1 (HIF1) significantly upregulated after two hours of treatment with isoeugenol, suggesting that this commonly used sedative affects osmo-regulation and respiration in the fish. The results also suggest that for tissue preservation in general it is better to flash-freeze fish specimens in liquefied N2 than to use RNAlater.Prolonged sedation may affect the transcription of fast-responding genes in tissues of fish. Two hours of sedation with isoeugenol resulted in downregulation of the Na+-K+-ATPase alpha1b gene and upregulation of the HIF1 gene in gills of Atlantic salmon. The quality of RNA extracted from tissue specimens, however, was not affected by sedation treatment. Flash-freezing of tissue specimens seems to be the preferred preservation technique, when sampling fish tissue specimens for RNA extraction.
Project description:Exposure to environmental contaminants like nonylphenol can disrupt smolt development and may be a contributing factor in salmon population declines. We used GRASP 16K cDNA microarrays to identify genes that are differentially expressed in the liver, gill, hypothalamus, pituitary, and olfactory rosettes of Atlantic salmon smolts treated with nonylphenol compared to control smolts. Nonylphenol treatment was confirmed using physiological assays: nonylphenol-treatment significantly decreased gill Na+,K+-ATPase activity and plasma cortisol and T3 levels. Microarray analyses were used to compare expression in nonylphenol-injected fish with expression in vehicle-injected fish: eight arrays each for liver, gill, olfactory rosettes, hypothalamus, and pituitary tissues. Total RNA was isolated from the tissues of eight nonylphenol-injected fish (six males and two females) and eight vehicle-injected fish (two males and six females) and reverse transcribed separately (not pooled); each slide represents a biological replicate. For each tissue, the eight arrays were balanced for dye: nonylphenol-injected fish were labeled with Alexa Fluor 555 and vehicle-injected fish were labeled with Alexa Fluor 647 on four slides, nonylphenol-injected fish were labeled with Alexa Fluor 647 and vehicle-injected fish were labeled with Alexa Fluor 555 on four slides. Liver, gill, hypothalamus, pituitary, and olfactory rosette tissues were analyzed separately.
Project description:Substantial declines of Pacific salmon populations have occurred over the past several decades related to large-scale anthropogenic and climatic changes in freshwater and marine environments. In the Columbia River Basin, migrating juvenile salmonids may pass as many as eight large-scale hydropower projects before reaching the ocean; however, the cumulative effects of multiple dam passages are largely unknown. Using acoustic transmitters and an extensive system of hydrophone arrays in the Lower Columbia River, we calculated the survival of yearling Chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha) and steelhead (O. mykiss) passing one, two, or three dams. We applied a unique index of biological characteristics and environmental exposures, experienced by each fish individually as it migrated downstream, in order to examine which factors most influence salmonid survival. High outflow volumes led to involuntary spill in 2011 and created an environment of supersaturated dissolved gas concentrations. In this environment, migrating smolt survival was strongly influenced by barometric pressure, fish velocity, and water temperature. The effect of these variables on survival was compounded by multiple dam passages compared to fish passing a single dam. Despite spatial isolation between dams in the Lower Columbia River hydrosystem, migrating smolt appear to experience cumulative effects akin to a press disturbance. In general, Chinook salmon and steelhead respond similarly in terms of survival rates and responses to altered environmental conditions. Management actions that limit dissolved gas concentrations in years of high flow will benefit migrating salmonids at this life stage.