Transcriptional changes revealed water acidification leads to the immune response and ovary maturation delay in the Chinese mitten crab Eriocheir sinensis

Highlights

  • Water acidification delays the oocyte maturation of Eriocheir sinensis.
  • Water acidification induces significant changes in gills and ovaries at transcriptomic level.
  • E. sinensis increased immune response to response in the water acidification.

Abstract

Nowadays, due to increasing carbon dioxide released, water acidification poses a series of serious impacts on aquatic organisms. To evaluate the effects of water acidification on crustaceans, we focused on the Chinese mitten crab Eriocheir sinensis, which is a spawning migration and farmed species in China. Based on histological and oocyte transparent liquid observation, we found that the acidified environment significantly delayed the ovarian maturation of E. sinensis. Moreover, RNA-seq was applied to obtain gene expression profile from the crab’s gills and ovaries in response to acidified environment. Compared with control groups, a total of 5471 differentially expressed genes (DEGs) were identified in acidified gills and 485 DEGs were identified in acidified ovaries. Enrichment analysis indicated that some pathways also responded to the acidified environment, such as PI3K-Akt signaling pathway, Chemokine signaling pathway, apoptosis and toll-like receptor signaling pathway. Subsequently, some DEGs involved in immune response (ALFCathepsin AHSP70HSP90, and catalase) and ovarian maturation (Cyclin BFem-1aFem-1b, and Fem-1c) were selected to further validate the influence of water acidification on gene expression by qRT-PCR. The results showed that the expression level of immune-related genes was significantly increased to response to the water acidification, while the ovarian maturation-related genes were significantly decreased. Overall, our data suggested that E. sinensis was sensitive to the reduced pH. This comparative transcriptome also provides valuable molecular information on the mechanisms of the crustaceans responding to acidified environment.

Luo B.-Y., Qian H.-L., Jiang H.-C., Xiong X.-Y., Ye B.-Q., Liu X., Guo Z.-Q. & Ma K.-Y., 2021. Transcriptional changes revealed water acidification leads to the immune response and ovary maturation delay in the Chinese mitten crab Eriocheir sinensis. Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology Part D: Genomics and Proteomics 39: 100868. doi: 10.1016/j.cbd.2021.100868. Article (subscription required).


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