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De novo assembly of the Indo-Pacific humpback dolphin leucocyte transcriptome to identify putative genes involved in the aquatic adaptation and immune response.


ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: The Indo-Pacific humpback dolphin (Sousa chinensis), a marine mammal species inhabited in the waters of Southeast Asia, South Africa and Australia, has attracted much attention because of the dramatic decline in population size in the past decades, which raises the concern of extinction. So far, this species is poorly characterized at molecular level due to little sequence information available in public databases. Recent advances in large-scale RNA sequencing provide an efficient approach to generate abundant sequences for functional genomic analyses in the species with un-sequenced genomes. PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We performed a de novo assembly of the Indo-Pacific humpback dolphin leucocyte transcriptome by Illumina sequencing. 108,751 high quality sequences from 47,840,388 paired-end reads were generated, and 48,868 and 46,587 unigenes were functionally annotated by BLAST search against the NCBI non-redundant and Swiss-Prot protein databases (E-value<10(-5)), respectively. In total, 16,467 unigenes were clustered into 25 functional categories by searching against the COG database, and BLAST2GO search assigned 37,976 unigenes to 61 GO terms. In addition, 36,345 unigenes were grouped into 258 KEGG pathways. We also identified 9,906 simple sequence repeats and 3,681 putative single nucleotide polymorphisms as potential molecular markers in our assembled sequences. A large number of unigenes were predicted to be involved in immune response, and many genes were predicted to be relevant to adaptive evolution and cetacean-specific traits. CONCLUSION: This study represented the first transcriptome analysis of the Indo-Pacific humpback dolphin, an endangered species. The de novo transcriptome analysis of the unique transcripts will provide valuable sequence information for discovery of new genes, characterization of gene expression, investigation of various pathways and adaptive evolution, as well as identification of genetic markers.

SUBMITTER: Gui D 

PROVIDER: S-EPMC3756080 | BioStudies | 2013-01-01

REPOSITORIES: biostudies

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