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: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: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.
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: 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:A new aquareovirus was isolated from cultured Atlantic halibut (Hippoglossus hippoglossus) fry at a facility where massive mortalities had occurred during the start-feeding phase. The same virus was also detected in juveniles (about 10 grams) of the 2013 generation at two other production sites, but not in larger fish from generations 2007-2012. The virus replicated in BF-2 and CHSE-214 cell cultures and produced syncytia and plaque-like cytopathic effects. This Atlantic halibut reovirus (AHRV) was associated with necrosis of the liver and pancreas, syncytium formation in these tissues, and distinct viroplasm areas within the syncytium in halibut fry. Transmission electron microscopy revealed that the viroplasm contained virions, non-enveloped, icosahedral particles approximately 70 nm in diameter with a double capsid layer, amorphous material, and tubular structures. The RNA-dependent RNA polymerase (RdRp) gene from the AHRV isolates showed the highest amino acid sequence identity (80 %) to an isolate belonging to the species Aquareovirus A, Atlantic salmon reovirus TS (ASRV-TS). A partial sequence from the putative fusion-associated small transmembrane (FAST) protein of AHRV was obtained, and this sequence showed the highest amino acid sequence identity (46.8 %) to Green River Chinook virus which is an unassigned member of the genus Aquareovirus, while a comparison with isolates belonging to the species Aquareovirus A showed <33 % identity. A proper assessment of the relationship of AHRV to all members of the genus Aquareovirus, however, is hampered by the absence of genetic data from members of several Aquareovirus species. AHRV is the first aquareovirus isolated from a marine coldwater fish species and the second reovirus detected in farmed fish in Norway. A similar disease of halibut fry, as described in this paper, has also been described in halibut production facilities in Canada and Scotland.
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:BACKGROUND: Flatfish metamorphosis involves major physiological and morphological changes. Due to its importance in aquaculture and as a model for developmental studies, some gene expression studies have focused on the understanding of this process using quantitative real-time PCR (qRT-PCR) technique. Therefore, adequate reference genes for accurate normalization are required. RESULTS: The stability of 12 potential reference genes was examined during larval development in Senegalese sole (Solea senegalensis) and Atlantic halibut (Hippoglossus hippoglossus) to determine the most suitable genes for qRT-PCR analysis. Transcription levels of genes encoding beta-Actin (ACTB), glyceraldehyde-3P-dehydrogenase (GAPDH), annexin A2 (ANXA2), glutathione S-transferase (GST), ornithine decarboxylase (ODC), hypoxanthine phosphoribosyltransferase (HPRT1), ubiquitin (UBQ), elongation factor 1 alpha (eEF1A1), 18S ribosomal RNA, and the ribosomal proteins S4 (RPS4) and L13a (RPL13a) were quantitated. Two paralogous genes for ACTB were analyzed in each of both flatfish species. In addition, two paralogous genes for GAPDH were studied in Senegalese sole. RPL13a represented non-orthologous genes between both flatfish species. GeNorm and NormFinder analyses for expression stability revealed RPS4, UBQ and eEF1A1 as the most stable genes in Senegalese sole, Atlantic halibut and in a combined analysis. In all cases, paralogous genes exhibited differences in expression stability. CONCLUSION: This work suggests RPS4, UBQ, and eEF1A1 genes as useful reference genes for accurate normalization in qRT-PCR studies in Senegalese sole and Atlantic halibut larvae. The congruent results between both species in spite of the drastic differences in larval development suggest that selected housekeeping genes (HKGs) could be useful in other flatfish species. However, the finding of paralogous gene copies differentially expressed during development in some HKGs underscores the necessity to identify orthologous genes.