Project description:The sea slug Onchidium reevesii inhabits the intertidal zone, which is characterized by a changeable environment. Although the circadian modulation of long-term memory (LTM) is well documented, the interaction of the circadian clock with light-dark masking in LTM of intertidal animals is not well understood. We characterized the LTM of Onchidium and tested the expression levels of related genes under a light-dark (LD) cycle and constant darkness (i.e., dark-dark, or DD) cycle. Results indicated that both learning behavior and LTM show differences between circadian time (CT) 10 and zeitgeber time (ZT) 10. In LD, the cry1 gene expressed irregularly, and per2 expression displayed a daily pattern and a peak expression level at ZT 18. OnCREB1 (only in LD conditions) and per2 transcripts cycled in phase with each other. In DD, the cry1 gene had its peak expression at CT 10, and per2 expressed its peak level at CT 18. OnCREB1 had two peak expression levels at ZT 10 or ZT 18 which correspond to the time node of peaks in cry1 and per2, respectively. The obtained results provide an LTM pattern that is different from other model species of the intertidal zone. We conclude that the daily transcriptional oscillations of Onchidium for LTM were affected by circadian rhythms and LD cycle masking.
Project description:Real-time quantitative reverse transcription-PCR (qRT-PCR) is an undeniably effective tool for measuring levels of gene expression, but the accuracy and reliability of the statistical data obtained depend mainly on the basal expression of selected housekeeping genes in many samples. To date, there have been few analyses of stable housekeeping genes in Onchidium reevesii under salinity stress and injury. In this study, the gene expression stabilities of seven commonly used housekeeping genes, CYC, RPL28S, ACTB, TUBB, EF1a, Ubiq and 18S RNA, were investigated using BestKeeper, geNorm, NormFinder and RefFinfer. Although the results of the four programs varied to some extent, in general, RPL28S, TUBB, ACTB and EF1a were ranked highly. ACTB and TUBB were found to be the most stable housekeeping genes under salinity stress, and EF1a plus TUBB was the most stable combination under injury stress. When analysing target gene expression in different tissues, RPL28S or EF1a should be selected as the reference gene according to the level of target gene expression. Under extreme environmental stress (salinity) conditions, ACTB (0 ppt, 5 ppt, 15 ppt, 25 ppt) and TUBB (35 ppt) are reasonable reference gene choices when expression stability and abundance are considered. Under conditions of 15 ppt salinity and injury stress, our results showed that the best two-gene combination was TUBB plus EF1a. Therefore, we suggest that RPL28S, ACTB and TUBB are suitable reference genes for evaluating mRNA transcript levels. Based on candidate gene expression analysis, the tolerance of O. reevesii to low salinity (low osmotic pressure) is reduced compared to its tolerance to high salinity (high osmotic pressure). These findings will help researchers obtain accurate results in future quantitative gene expression analyses of O. reevesii under other stress conditions.
Project description:In an effort to clarify the species diversity of onchidiid slugs, the taxonomy of the genus Onchidium Buchannan, 1800 is revised using an integrative approach. New, fresh specimens were collected in a large number of places, including type localities. The genus Onchidium is redefined here as a clade including only three species which are strongly supported by both morphological and molecular data. All three species were already named: the type species Onchidium typhae Buchannan, 1800, Onchidium stuxbergi (Westerlund, 1883), and Onchidium reevesii (J.E. Gray, 1850). With the exception of a re-description of Onchidium typhae published in 1869, all three species are re-described here for the first time. First-hand observations on the color variation of live animals in their natural habitat are provided. The anatomy of each species is described. Important nomenclatural issues are addressed. In particular, Labella Starobogatov, 1976 is regarded as a junior synonym of Onchidium and Labella ajuthiae (Labbé, 1935) and Onchidium nigrum (Plate, 1893) are regarded as junior synonyms of Onchidium stuxbergi. The nomenclatural status of several other species names is discussed as well. Many new records are provided across South-East Asia and precise ranges of geographic distributions are provided for the genus Onchidium and its three species. Distinctive features that help distinguish the genus Onchidium from other onchidiids are provided, as well as an identification key for the three species.