Genes & Genomics

, Volume 40, Issue 3, pp 253–263 | Cite as

Transcriptome analysis of gene expression patterns during embryonic development in golden cuttlefish (Sepia esculenta)

  • Li Bian
  • Changlin Liu
  • Siqing Chen
  • Fazhen Zhao
  • Jianlong Ge
  • Jie Tan
Research Article


Golden cuttlefish (Sepia esculenta) is an important economic species in China. Because of the rapid decline of its natural resource, researchers are exploring breeding technique for this species. The major obstacle that hinders artificial breeding of S. esculenta is the low larvae survival rate. Mortality is especially high during the mouth-opening stage. Investigating the embryogenesis before the first feed could provide theoretical guidance for reproduction control and breeding of S. esculenta and other Sepia species. In this study, we analyzed the dynamics of the S. esculenta transcriptome along different stages of embryonic development by mRNA-sEq. Our bioinformatics protocol identified 1492 differentially expressed genes (DEGs) across the early developmental stages. Gene ontology enrichment analysis showed that the DEGs were significantly involved in developmental processes and molecular functions, including chitin metabolic process, peptidase activity, catalytic activity, and calcium ion binding. Our results indicated that genes related to cuttlebone development and gene regulation functions were active during the early life phase of S. esculenta. Hierarchical clustering of the DEGs reflected the successiveness of the developmental stages, revealing that gene expression patterns of neighboring stages were similar. The DEG analysis allowed us to identify specific genes and relevant biological pathways to better understand the molecular mechanisms during each developmental stage. This study provides novel insights into the processes underlying the early developmental stages of S. esculenta. The transcriptomic data and identified genes will serve as valuable references for the developmental biology of this species and will help promote its aquaculture research.


Golden cuttlefish Sepia esculenta Transcriptomics Embryonic development Aquaculture 



This work was supported by National Key Technology Support Program (2011BAD13B08) and National standard (2130109).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

Li Bian declares that he does not have conflict of interest. Changlin Liu declares that he does not have conflict of interest. Siqing Chen declares that he does not have conflict of interest. Fazhen Zhao declares that he does not have conflict of interest. Jianlong Ge declares that he does not have conflict of interest. Jie Tan declares that he does not have conflict of interest.

Human and animal rights

All procedures involving the rearing and treatment of cuttlefish used during this study were approved by the Review Committee for the Use of Animal Subjects of Yellow Sea Fisheries Research Institute, Chinese Academy of Fishery Sciences. In China, academic research on golden cuttlefish is highly encouraged and does not necessitate particular permits.

Supplementary material

13258_2017_588_MOESM1_ESM.rar (8.5 mb)
Supplementary material 1 (RAR 8674 KB)


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Copyright information

© The Genetics Society of Korea and Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Li Bian
    • 1
  • Changlin Liu
    • 1
  • Siqing Chen
    • 1
  • Fazhen Zhao
    • 1
  • Jianlong Ge
    • 1
  • Jie Tan
    • 1
  1. 1.Key Laboratory for Sustainable Utilization of Marine Fisheries Resources, Ministry of Agriculture, Yellow Sea Fisheries Research InstituteChinese Academy of Fishery SciencesQingdaoChina

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