Transcriptional changes of Pacific oyster Crassostrea gigas reveal essential role of calcium signal pathway in response to CO2-driven acidification

Highlights

•Totally 501 and 2728 DEGs were identified in oyster after short- and long-term CO2 exposure, respectively.

•A series of calcium-binding genes were up-regulated in oyster after long-term CO2 exposure.

•The intracellular calcium concentration decreased after short-time CO2 exposure but recovered to normal levels after long-term treatment.

•The oxidative stress level increased significantly after short-time CO2 exposure but recovered to normal level after long-term treatment.

Abstract

There is increasing evidence that ocean acidification (OA) has a significant impact on marine organisms. However, the ability of most marine organisms to acclimate to OA and the underlying mechanisms are still not well understood. In the present study, whole transcriptome analysis was performed to compare the impacts of short- (7 days, named as short group) and long- (60 days, named as long group) term CO2 exposure (pH 7.50) on Pacific oyster Crassostrea gigas. The responses of C. gigas to short- and long-term CO2 exposure shared common mechanisms in metabolism, membrane-associated transportation and binding processes. Long-term CO2 exposure induced significant expression of genes involved in DNA or RNA binding, indicating the activated transcription after long-term CO2 exposure. Oysters in the short-term group underwent significant intracellular calcium variation and oxidative stress. In contrast, the intracellular calcium, ROS level in hemocytes and H2O2 in serum recovered to normal levels after long-term CO2 exposure, suggesting the compensation of physiological status and mutual interplay between calcium and oxidative level. The compensation was supported by the up-regulation of a series of calcium binding proteins (CBPs) and calmodulins (CaMs) related signal pathway. The results provided valuable information to understand the molecular mechanism underlying the responses of Pacific oyster to the acidified ocean and might have implications for predicting the possible effects of global climate changes on oyster aquaculture.

Wang X., Wang M., Wang W., Liu Z., Xu J., Jia Z., Chen H., Qiu L., Zhao Lv Z., Wang L. & Song L., in press. Transcriptional changes of Pacific oyster Crassostrea gigas reveal essential role of calcium signal pathway in response to CO2-driven acidification. Science of The Total Environment. Article (subscription required).

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