Project description:Self-cloning is quite rare in shrimp, lobsters, crayfish and crabs. Here we report the discovery of four natural clones of red swamp crayfish (Procambarus clarkii), each containing 2-6 genetically identical individuals, during the genotyping of 120 individuals with five microsatellites. The four clones were heterozygote at most of the five microsatellite loci. Phylogenetic analysis using microsatellite genotypes suggests recent origin of the four clones. Sequencing a part of the mitochondrial gene Cox I confirmed that the four clones were from the species Procambarus clarkii.
Project description:The spreading of new crayfish species poses a serious risk for freshwater ecosystems; because they are omnivores they influence more than one level in the trophic chain and they represent a significant part of the benthic biomass. Both the environmental change through global warming and the expansion of the pet trade increase the possibilities of their spreading. We investigated the potential of four "warm water" highly invasive crayfish species to overwinter in the temperate zone, so as to predict whether these species pose a risk for European freshwaters. We used 15 specimens of each of the following species: the red swamp crayfish (Procambarus clarkii), the marbled crayfish (Procambarus fallax f. virginalis), the yabby (Cherax destructor), and the redclaw (Cherax quadricarinatus). Specimens were acclimatized and kept for 6.5 months at temperatures simulating the winter temperature regime of European temperate zone lentic ecosystems. We conclude that the red swamp crayfish, marbled crayfish and yabby have the ability to withstand low winter temperatures relevant for lentic habitats in the European temperate zone, making them a serious invasive threat to freshwater ecosystems.
Project description:The freshwater crayfish Procambarus clarkii is an animal model employed for physiological and immunological studies and is also of great economic importance in aquaculture. Although it is a species of easy husbandry, a high percentage of its production is lost annually as a result of infectious diseases. Currently, genetic information about the immune system of crustaceans is limited. Therefore, we used the abdominal nerve cord from P. clarkii to obtain its transcriptome using Next Generation Sequencing (NGS) to identify proteins that participate in the immune system. The reads were assembled de novo and consensus sequences with more than 3000 nucleotides were selected for analysis. The transcripts of the sequences of RNA were edited for annotation and sent to the GenBank database of the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI). We made a list of accession numbers of the sequences which were organized by the putative role of the immune system pathway in which they participate. In this work, we report on 80 proteins identified from the transcriptome of crayfish related to the immune system, 74 of them being the first reported for P. clarkii. We hope that the knowledge of these sequences will contribute significantly to the development of future studies of the immune system in crustaceans.
Project description:BACKGROUND:The parthenogenetic marbled crayfish (Procambarus virginalis) is a novel species that has rapidly invaded and colonized various different habitats. Adaptation to different environments appears to be independent of the selection of genetic variants, but epigenetic programming of the marbled crayfish genome remains to be understood. RESULTS:Here, we provide a comprehensive analysis of DNA methylation in marbled crayfish. Whole-genome bisulfite sequencing of multiple replicates and different tissues revealed a methylation pattern that is characterized by gene body methylation of housekeeping genes. Interestingly, this pattern was largely tissue invariant, suggesting a function that is unrelated to cell fate specification. Indeed, integrative analysis of DNA methylation, chromatin accessibility and mRNA expression patterns revealed that gene body methylation correlated with limited chromatin accessibility and stable gene expression, while low-methylated genes often resided in chromatin with higher accessibility and showed increased expression variation. Interestingly, marbled crayfish also showed reduced gene body methylation and higher gene expression variability when compared with their noninvasive mother species, Procambarus fallax. CONCLUSIONS:Our results provide novel insights into invertebrate gene body methylation and its potential role in adaptive gene regulation.
Project description:Biological invasions by nonindigenous species can have negative effects on economies and ecosystems. To limit this impact, current research on biological invasions uses functional traits to facilitate a mechanistic understanding of theoretical and applied questions. Here we aimed to assess the role of functional traits in the progression of crayfish species through different stages of invasion and determine the traits associated with invasive success. A dataset of thirteen functional traits of 15 species currently occurring or available for sale in the Netherlands was evaluated. Six of these crayfish appeared invasive. Important traits distinguishing successful from unsuccessful invaders were a temperate climate in the native range, a medium to high egg count and producing more than one egg clutch per year. The most successful invaders had different functional trait combinations: Procambarus clarkii has a higher reproductive output, can migrate over longer distances and possesses a higher aggression level; Faxonius limosus is adapted to a colder climate, can reproduce parthenogetically and has broader environmental tolerances. Using a suit of functional traits to analyse invasive potential can help risk management and prevention. For example, based on our data Procambarus virginalis is predicted to become the next successful invasive crayfish in the Netherlands.