Differential expression analysis and identification of sex-related genes by gonad transcriptome sequencing in estradiol-treated and non-treated Ussuri catfish Pseudobagrus ussuriensis

Abstract

The Ussuri catfish (Pseudobagrus ussuriensis) has an XX/XY sex determination system but its sex determination gene(s) remain unknown. To better understand the molecular sex determination mechanism, transcriptome analysis was conducted to obtain sex-related gene expression profiles. Transcriptome analyses were made of male and female developing/differentiating gonads by high-throughput RNA sequencing, including gonads from fish given an estradiol-induced sex reversal treatment. A total of 81,569 unigenes were assembled and 39,904 were significantly matched to known unique proteins by comparison with public databases. Twenty specifically expressed and 142 differentially expressed sex-related genes were extracted from annotated data by comparing the treatment groups. These genes are involved in spermatogenesis (e.g., Dnali1, nectin3, klhl10, mybl1, Katnal1, Eno4, Mns1, Spag6, Tsga10, Septin7), oogenesis (e.g., Lagr5, Fmn2, Npm2, zar1, Fbxo5, Fbxo43, Prdx4, Nrip1, Lfng, Atrip), gonadal development/differentiation (e.g., Cxcr4b, Hmgb2, Cftr, Ch25h, brip1, Prdm9, Tdrd1, Star, dmrt1, Tut4, Hsd17b12a, gdf9, dnd, arf1, Spata22), and estradiol response (e.g., Mmp14, Lhcgr, vtg1, vtg2, esr2b, Piwil1, Aifm1, Hsf1, gdf9). Dmrt1 and gdf9 may play an essential role in sex determination in P. ussuriensis. The expression patterns of six random genes were validated by quantitative real-time PCR, which confirmed the reliability and accuracy of the RNA-seq results. These data provide a valuable resource for future studies of gene expression and for understanding the molecular mechanism of sex determination/differentiation and gonadal development/differentiation (including hormone-induced sexual reversal) in Ussuri catfish. This has the potential to assist in producing monosex Ussuri catfish to increase aquacultural productivity.

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Data and materials availability

Data and materials of this study are available through personal communications with the corresponding author.

Funding

This work was funded by the Fishery Science and Technology Projects in Jiangsu Province (No. Y 2018-23) and the Jiangsu Collaborative Innovation Center of Regional Modern Agriculture & Environmental Protection (No. HSXT2-216).

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ZhengJun Pan designed the experiment and wrote the manuscript. ChuanKun Zhu conducted the artificial propagation and estradiol treatment. GuoLiang Chang conducted the gonadal transcriptome sequencing. Nan Wu analyzed the data. HuaiYu Ding searched for all references. Hui Wang supervised the proceeding of this work and gave advice.

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Correspondence to ZhengJun Pan.

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Pan, Z., Zhu, C., Chang, G. et al. Differential expression analysis and identification of sex-related genes by gonad transcriptome sequencing in estradiol-treated and non-treated Ussuri catfish Pseudobagrus ussuriensis. Fish Physiol Biochem (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10695-021-00932-x

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Keywords

  • Transcriptome
  • Sex-related genes
  • Differential expression
  • Sex reversal
  • Pseudobagrus ussuriensis