Transcriptome analyses provide the first insight into the molecular basis of cold tolerance in Larimichthys polyactis

  • Feng Liu
  • Tianqi Chu
  • Mengjie Wang
  • Wei Zhan
  • Qingping Xie
  • Bao LouEmail author
Original Paper


Larimichthys polyactis is one of the most economically important marine fish species that have become newly cultured in China in recent years. The gene expression changes that L. polyactis experiences in cold toleranceis still unknown, limiting the expansion of its cultivation, fast growth, and high yield. To investigate the molecular mechanism behind L. polyactis’s cold tolerance and to provide a resource for conducting genetic research on L. polyactis, transcriptome sequencing using RNA-seq was performed on individuals that survived cold stress at 4 °C (cold tolerant, CT), and individuals that barely survived 4 °C (cold sensitive, CS), which was considered as the control. A number of 387,607,550 clean reads were obtained from the transcriptomes, and comparative transcriptomic analysis identified 141 differently expressed genes (DEGs), of which 67 were up-regulated and 74 were down-regulated in CT compared to CS under cold stress. Furthermore, ten differently expressed genes were selected from the RNA-Seq analysis to be further validated by real-time PCR. Functional network analysis indicated that L. polyactis adapted to cold stress by employing a series of mechanisms to minimize damages caused by exposure to cold temperatures. The molecular mechanisms identified through RNA-Seq included Extracellular matrix (ECM) receptor interaction, glycerolipid metabolism, regulation of autophagy and focal adhesion pathway as playing vital roles in cold tolerance in L. polyactis. This study may help elucidate how L. polyactis tolerates cold, which is of value for breeding cold-tolerant L. polyactis stocks for cultivation.


Larimichthys polyactis Transcriptome DEGs Cold stress 



This research was supported by grants from the National Key Research and Development Program of China (No. 2018YFD0901204), the Special Fund for the Key Research and Development Project of Zhejiang Province (No. 2017C02013), and Zhejiang Provincial Natural Science Foundation of China (No. LQ19C190002).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that there are no conflicts of interest.

Supplementary material

360_2019_1247_MOESM1_ESM.xlsx (41 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (XLSX 41 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of HydrobiologyZhejiang Academy of Agricultural SciencesHangzhouChina
  2. 2.School of FisheryZhejiang Ocean UniversityZhoushanChina

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