To understand the physiological response of estuarine fish to acidification, barramundi (Lates calcarifer) juveniles were exposed to acidified seawater in experimental conditions. The molecular response of barramundi to acidification stress was assessed by RNA-seq analysis. A total of 2188 genes were identified as differential expression genes. The gene ontology classification system and Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes database analysis showed that acidification caused differential expressions of genes and pathways in the gills of barramundi. Acidification had a great influence on the signal transduction pathway in cell process. Furthermore, we detected that numerous unigenes involved in the pathways associated with lipid metabolism, carbohydrate metabolism, amino acid metabolism, glycan biosynthesis and metabolism specific and non-specific immunity were changed. This study indicates that the physiological responses in barramundi especially the immune system and energy allocation correspond to the variation of environmental pH. This study reveals the necessity for assessment of the potential of estuarine fishes to cope with acidification of the environment and the need to develop strategies for fish conservation in coastal areas.
Ma Z., Zheng X., Fu Z., Lin S., Yu G & Qin J. G., in press. Transcriptional analysis reveals physiological response to acute acidification stress of barramundi Lates calcarifer (Bloch) in coastal areas. Fish Physiology and Biochemistry. Article.