Comprehensive EST analysis of Atlantic halibut (Hippoglossus hippoglossus), a commercially relevant aquaculture species.
ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: An essential first step in the genomic characterisation of a new species, in this case Atlantic halibut (Hippoglossus hippoglossus), is the generation of EST information. This forms the basis for subsequent microarray design, SNP detection and the placement of novel markers on genetic linkage maps. RESULTS: Normalised directional cDNA libraries were constructed from five different larval stages (hatching, mouth-opening, midway to metamorphosis, premetamorphosis, and post-metamorphosis) and eight different adult tissues (testis, ovary, liver, head kidney, spleen, skin, gill, and intestine). Recombination efficiency of the libraries ranged from 91-98% and insert size averaged 1.4 kb. Approximately 1000 clones were sequenced from the 5'-end of each library and after trimming, 12675 good sequences were obtained. Redundancy within each library was very low and assembly of the entire EST collection into contigs resulted in 7738 unique sequences of which 6722 (87%) had matches in Genbank. Removal of ESTs and contigs that originated from bacteria or food organisms resulted in a total of 7710 unique halibut sequences. CONCLUSION: A Unigene collection of 7710 functionally annotated ESTs has been assembled from Atlantic halibut. These have been incorporated into a publicly available, searchable database and form the basis for an oligonucleotide microarray that can be used as a tool to study gene expression in this economically important aquacultured fish.
Project description:BACKGROUND:The commercial production of Atlantic halibut (Hippoglossus hippoglossus L.) suffers from a major bottleneck due to the low success of producing juveniles for on-growing. Atlantic halibut females are routinely hand-stripped and incorrect timing of stripping can result in low quality eggs due to post-ovulatory aging. Post-ovulatory aging leads to compositional changes in eggs that include maternally provided proteins and RNAs. There have been few studies of the maternally provided mRNA transcripts that control early development in commercially important fish species. The present study aimed to study maternal gene expression in Atlantic halibut and its relation to egg quality parameters including blastomere symmetry and hatching success. RESULTS:A maternal EST library containing 2341 sequences was constructed by suppressive subtractive hybridisation. Thirty genes were selected for expression studies; 23 novel genes and 7 genes with documented roles in early development. The expressions of twenty-one selected genes were measured by qPCR from fertilization to the 10-somite stage. Three genes were identified as strictly maternal genes that were expressed until the start of gastrulation; askopos (kop), si:dkey-30j22.9 (Tudor family member), and Tudor 5 protein (Tdrd5). The expressions of 18 genes at the 8-cell stage were correlated with egg quality parameters. The majority of genes showed either no or very minor correlations with egg quality parameter. However, two genes correlated positively with hatching success (r> 0.50, HHC00353: r = 0.58, p < 0.01; HHC01517: r = 0.56, p < 0.01) and one gene (HHC00255) was negatively correlated with the percentage of normal blastomeres (r = -0.62, p < 0.05). CONCLUSIONS:During this study we have related maternal levels of gene expression to hatching success in fish. Poor hatching success was not correlated with a general decrease in transcript abundance but with low transcript levels of some specific genes. Thus, the molecular mechanisms leading to low Atlantic halibut egg quality cannot be entirely explained by post-ovulatory aging.
Project description:BACKGROUND: Commercial Atlantic halibut (Hippoglossus hippoglossus) farming is restricted by variable oocyte quality, slow growth, and early maturation of male fish. Maternally transferred components regulate early developmental processes; therefore, they have an effect on the future viability of the embryo. Using a newly developed Agilent 10 k custom-made oligonucleotide array, we profiled components of the transcriptome involved in immune defence as well as germline and muscle development during early developmental stages: 8-cell embryos (8CS), germ ring stage (GR), 10-somite stage (10SS), and hatched embryos (HT). In addition, we identified differentially expressed transcripts in low (?9 ± 3% hatching) and high (?86 ± 3°% hatching) quality eggs at 8CS to identify potential maternal markers for embryo quality. RESULTS: Out of 2066 differentially expressed transcripts, 160 were identified as maternal transcripts being specifically expressed at 8CS only. Twenty transcripts were differentially expressed in 8-cell embryos between low and high quality egg groups. Several immune-related transcripts were identified as promising molecular markers of hatching success including interferon regulatory factor 7 and mhc class 2A chain. Differential expression was positively validated with quantitative real-time PCR. CONCLUSIONS: We have demonstrated maternal transfer of innate and adaptive immune system transcripts into Atlantic halibut embryos and their relation with future embryo developmental potential. We identified several transcripts as potential molecular markers of embryo quality. The developed microarray represents a useful resource for improving the commercial production of Atlantic halibut.
Project description:BACKGROUND: Ribosomal proteins (RPs) are key components of ribosomes, the cellular organelle responsible for protein biosynthesis in cells. Their levels can vary as a function of organism growth and development; however, some RPs have been associated with other cellular processes or extraribosomal functions. Their high representation in cDNA libraries has resulted in the increase of RP sequences available from different organisms and their proposal as appropriate molecular markers for phylogenetic analysis. RESULTS: The development of large-scale genomics of Senegalese sole (Solea senegalensis) and Atlantic halibut (Hippoglossus hippoglossus), two commercially important flatfish species, has made possible the identification and systematic analysis of the complete set of RP sequences for the small (40S) ribosome subunit. Amino acid sequence comparisons showed a high similarity both between these two flatfish species and with respect to other fish and human. EST analysis revealed the existence of two and four RPS27 genes in Senegalese sole and Atlantic halibut, respectively. Phylogenetic analysis clustered RPS27 in two separate clades with their fish and mammalian counterparts. Steady-state transcript levels for eight RPs (RPS2, RPS3a, RPS15, RPS27-1, RPS27-2, RPS27a, RPS28, and RPS29) in sole were quantitated during larval development and in tissues, using a real-time PCR approach. All eight RPs exhibited different expression patterns in tissues with the lowest levels in brain. On the contrary, RP transcripts increased co-ordinately after first larval feeding reducing progressively during the metamorphic process. CONCLUSION: The genomic resources and knowledge developed in this survey will provide new insights into the evolution of Pleuronectiformes. Expression data will contribute to a better understanding of RP functions in fish, especially the mechanisms that govern growth and development in larvae, with implications in aquaculture.
Project description:Genes encoding the five Atlantic halibut (Hippoglossus hippoglossus L.) cytokines; interleukin (IL)-1?, IL-6, IL-11b, IL-12?c, and interferon (IFN) ?, were cloned and characterised at a molecular level. The genomic organisation of the halibut cytokine genes was similar to that seen in mammals and/or other fish species. Several mRNA instability motifs were found within the 3'-untranslated region (UTR) of all cytokine cDNA sequences. The putative cytokine protein sequences showed a low sequence identity with the corresponding homologues in mammals, avian and other fish species. Nevertheless, important structural features were presumably conserved such as the presence, or absence in the case of IL-1?, of a signal peptide, secondary structure and family signature motifs. The relative expression pattern of the cytokine genes was analyzed in several halibut organs, revealing a constitutive expression in both lymphoid and non-lymphoid organs. Interestingly, the gills showed a relatively high expression of IL-1?, IL-12?c and IFN?. The real time RT-PCR data also showed that the mRNA level of IL-1?, IL-6, IL-12?c and IFN? was high in the thymus, while IL-11b was relatively highly expressed in the posterior kidney and posterior gut. Moreover, the halibut brain showed a relatively high level of IL-6 transcripts. Anterior kidney leucocytes in vitro stimulated with imiquimod showed a significant increase in mRNA level of the five halibut cytokine genes. The sequence and characterisation data presented here will be useful for further investigation of both innate and adaptive immune responses in halibut, and be helpful in the design of vaccines for the control of various infectious diseases.
Project description:Flatfish metamorphosis denotes the extraordinary transformation of a symmetric pelagic larva into an asymmetric benthic juvenile. Metamorphosis in vertebrates is driven by thyroid hormones (THs), but how they orchestrate the cellular, morphological and functional modifications associated with maturation to juvenile/adult states in flatfish is an enigma. Since THs act via thyroid receptors that are ligand activated transcription factors, we hypothesized that the maturation of tissues during metamorphosis should be preceded by significant modifications in the transcriptome. Targeting the unique metamorphosis of flatfish and taking advantage of the large size of Atlantic halibut (Hippoglossus hippoglossus) larvae, we determined the molecular basis of TH action using RNA sequencing.De novo assembly of sequences for larval head, skin and gastrointestinal tract (GI-tract) yielded 90,676, 65,530 and 38,426 contigs, respectively. More than 57 % of the assembled sequences were successfully annotated using a multi-step Blast approach. A unique set of biological processes and candidate genes were identified specifically associated with changes in morphology and function of the head, skin and GI-tract. Transcriptome dynamics during metamorphosis were mapped with SOLiD sequencing of whole larvae and revealed greater than 8,000 differentially expressed (DE) genes significantly (p?<?0.05) up- or down-regulated in comparison with the juvenile stage. Candidate transcripts quantified by SOLiD and qPCR analysis were significantly (r?=?0.843; p?<?0.05) correlated. The majority (98 %) of DE genes during metamorphosis were not TH-responsive. TH-responsive transcripts clustered into 6 groups based on their expression pattern during metamorphosis and the majority of the 145 DE TH-responsive genes were down-regulated.A transcriptome resource has been generated for metamorphosing Atlantic halibut and over 8,000 DE transcripts per stage were identified. Unique sets of biological processes and candidate genes were associated with changes in the head, skin and GI-tract during metamorphosis. A small proportion of DE transcripts were TH-responsive, suggesting that they trigger gene networks, signalling cascades and transcription factors, leading to the overt changes in tissue occurring during metamorphosis.
Project description:Atlantic halibut (Hippoglossus hippoglossus) is a high-value, niche market species for cold-water marine aquaculture. Production of monosex female stocks is desirable in commercial production since females grow faster and mature later than males. Understanding the sex determination mechanism and developing sex-associated markers will shorten the time for the development of monosex female production, thus decreasing the costs of farming.Halibut juveniles were masculinised with 17 ?-methyldihydrotestosterone (MDHT) and grown to maturity. Progeny groups from four treated males were reared and sexed. Two of these groups (n?=?26 and 70) consisted of only females, while the other two (n?=?30 and 71) contained balanced sex ratios (50% and 48% females respectively). DNA from parents and offspring from the two mixed-sex families were used as a template for Restriction-site Associated DNA (RAD) sequencing. The 648 million raw reads produced 90,105 unique RAD-tags. A linkage map was constructed based on 5703 Single Nucleotide Polymorphism (SNP) markers and 7 microsatellites consisting of 24 linkage groups, which corresponds to the number of chromosome pairs in this species. A major sex determining locus was mapped to linkage group 13 in both families. Assays for 10 SNPs with significant association with phenotypic sex were tested in both population data and in 3 additional families. Using a variety of machine-learning algorithms 97% correct classification could be obtained with the 3% of errors being phenotypic males predicted to be females.Altogether our findings support the hypothesis that the Atlantic halibut has an XX/XY sex determination system. Assays are described for sex-associated DNA markers developed from the RAD sequencing analysis to fast track progeny testing and implement monosex female halibut production for an immediate improvement in productivity. These should also help to speed up the inclusion of neomales derived from many families to maintain a larger effective population size and ensure long-term improvement through selective breeding.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>MicroRNAs (miRNAs) play a major role in animal ontogenesis. Size variants of miRNAs, isomiRs, are observed along with the main miRNA types, but their origin and possible biological role are uncovered yet. Developmental profiles of miRNAs have been reported in few fish species only and, to our knowledge, differential expressions of isomiRs have not yet been shown during fish development. Atlantic halibut, Hippoglossus hippoglossus L., undergoes dramatic metamorphosis during early development from symmetrical pelagic larval stage to unsymmetrical flatfish. No data exist on role of miRNAs in halibut metamorphosis.<h4>Results</h4>miRNA profiling using SOLiD deep sequencing technology revealed a total of 199 conserved, one novel antisense, and one miRNA* mature form. Digital expression profiles of selected miRNAs were validated using reverse transcription quantitative PCR. We found developmental transition-specific miRNA expression. Expression of some miRNA* exceeded the guide strand miRNA. We revealed that nucleotide truncations and/or additions at the 3' end of mature miRNAs resulted in size variants showing differential expression patterns during the development in a number of miRNA families. We confirmed the presence of isomiRs by cloning and Sanger sequencing. Also, we found inverse relationship between expression levels of sense/antisense miRNAs during halibut development.<h4>Conclusion</h4>Developmental transitions during early development of Atlantic halibut are associated with expression of certain miRNA types. IsomiRs are abundant and often show differential expression during the development.
Project description:Real time RT-PCR has become an important tool for analyzing gene expression in fish. Although several housekeeping genes have been evaluated in Atlantic halibut (Hippoglossus Hippoglossus L.), appropriate reference genes for low copy mRNA transcripts at the earliest developmental stages have not been identified. No attempts have been reported to identify suitable reference genes in halibut infected with NNV or in stimulated halibut leucocytes. In this study, beta-actin1 (ACTB1), elongation factor 1 alpha (EF1A1), hypoxanthine-guanine phosphoribosyltransferase 1 (HPRT1), ribosomal protein L7 (RPL7), tubulin beta 2C (Tubb2C), and ubiquitin-conjugating enzyme (UbcE) were evaluated as reference genes for normalization of real time RT-PCR data during Atlantic halibut development, in tissue of healthy and NNV-infected fish, and in in vivo and in vitro stimulated anterior kidney leucocytes.The expression of all six genes was relatively stable from the unfertilized egg until 12 day degrees post fertilization (ddpf). However, none of the selected genes were found to be stably expressed throughout halibut development. The mRNA levels of the six genes increased from 18 ddpf, when zygotic transcription is likely to be activated, and stabilized at different time points. The Excel-based software programs BestKeeper, geNorm, and NormFinder ranked EF1A1 and UbcE as the best candidate reference genes before activation of zygotic transcription, and RPL7 and EF1A1 as the best candidates after hatching. EF1A1 and RPL7 were also listed as the best reference genes when exploring the expression levels of the six genes in various halibut organs, both in non-injected fish and in mock- and NNV-injected fish. None of the reference genes were found optimal for normalization of real time RT-PCR data from in vitro stimulated anterior kidney leucocytes.Generally, it was found that EF1A1 and RPL7 were the genes that showed least variation, with HPRT1 and UbcE as intermediate genes, and ACTB1 and Tubb2C as the least stable ones. None of the six reference genes can be recommended as reference gene candidates in ConA-PMA stimulated leucocytes. However, UbcE can be a good candidate in other experimental setups. This study emphasizes the need for reference gene evaluation, as universal reference genes have not been identified.
Project description:Commercial Atlantic halibut (Hippoglossus hippoglossus) farming is restricted by variable oocyte quality, slow growth, and early maturation of male fish. Maternally transferred components regulate early developmental processes; therefore, they have an effect on the future development of an embryo. We profiled components of the transcriptome involved in immune defence as well as germline and muscle development during early developmental stages: 8-cell embryos, germ ring stage, 10-somite stage, and hatched embryos using a 10k oligonucleotide array and quantitative real-time PCR to specifically identify transcripts useful as molecular markers of embryo quality. Overall design: 4 developmental stages, Two conditions of egg quality, 3 replicates each
Project description:BACKGROUND: Halibuts are commercially important flatfish species confined to the North Pacific and North Atlantic Oceans. We have determined the complete mitochondrial genome sequences of four specimens each of Atlantic halibut (Hippoglossus hippoglossus), Pacific halibut (Hippoglossus stenolepis) and Greenland halibut (Reinhardtius hippoglossoides), and assessed the nucleotide variability within and between species. RESULTS: About 100 variable positions were identified within the four specimens in each halibut species, with the control regions as the most variable parts of the genomes (10 times that of the mitochondrial ribosomal DNA). Due to tandem repeat arrays, the control regions have unusually large sizes compared to most vertebrate mtDNAs. The arrays are highly heteroplasmic in size and consist mainly of different variants of a 61-bp motif. Halibut mitochondrial genomes lacking arrays were also detected. CONCLUSION: The complexity, distribution, and biological role of the heteroplasmic tandem repeat arrays in halibut mitochondrial control regions are discussed. We conclude that the most plausible explanation for array maintenance includes both the slipped-strand mispairing and DNA recombination mechanisms.