Transcriptomic analysis of juvenile Chinese sea bass (Lateolabrax maculatus) anesthetized by MS-222 (tricaine methanesulfonate) and eugenol


MS-222 (tricaine methanesulfonate) and eugenol are the two frequently used fish anesthetics. This study intends to analyze the regulation of these anesthetics in Chinese sea bass, Lateolabrax maculatus, through transcriptomic analysis. L. maculatus were exposed to MS-222 or eugenol, and those without any treatments were regarded as controls. Gills and livers were extracted for transcriptomic analysis after recovery in fresh water for 6 h. Identified genes were assigned to NR, COG, SWISS, GO, and KEGG database for predicting gene functions. A FDR ≤ 0.05 and |log2(FC)| ≥ 1 were applied to determined differentially expressed gene (DEG). A total of 45,626 unigenes were annotated using at least one database. The eugenol-treated liver group presented less DEGs compared with that treated by MS-222. Both the MS-222- and eugenol-treated liver groups presented notable DEGs that participated in human disease and metabolism pathways. The eugenol group showed more pathways related to detoxification activity and xenobiotics biodegradation, and those from the MS-222 group were related to organismal system such as reproduction. By comparing gill and liver samples using the same drug, the enriched pathways were generally consistent among the three comparisons. In conclusion, eugenol and MS-222 could change the pathways related to metabolism and immunity in L. maculatus. MS-222 may trigger more damages on the fish liver and reproduction.

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This study was funded by the Central Public-interest Scientific Institution Basal Research Fund, South China Sea Fisheries Research Institute (2017YB15); The Funding of Key Laboratory of South China Sea Fishery Resources Exploration & Utilization, Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs (FREU2018-02), and The Funding of Guangzhou Science and technology Planning Project (201904010169).

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Correspondence to Jiasong Zhang.

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Fig. S1

SNP detection of Lateolabrax maculatus with and without anesthetics treatment. CL: control liver; CG: control gill; EL: eugenol-treated liver; EG: eugenol-treated gill; ML: MS-222-treated liver; MG: MS-222-treated gill. (JPG 3281 kb)

Fig. S2

SRR detection of Lateolabrax maculatus with and without anesthetics treatment (JPG 680 kb)


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Dong, H., Wang, W., Duan, Y. et al. Transcriptomic analysis of juvenile Chinese sea bass (Lateolabrax maculatus) anesthetized by MS-222 (tricaine methanesulfonate) and eugenol. Fish Physiol Biochem 46, 909–920 (2020).

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  • Fish
  • Anesthetic
  • Differentially expressed genes
  • Transciptome
  • Aquaculture