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Fish Physiol Biochem. 2013 Aug;39(4):931-40. doi: 10.1007/s10695-012-9752-8. Epub 2012 Dec 7.

Molecular cloning of vasa gene and the effects of LHRH-A on its expression in blue tilapia Oreochromis aureus.

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  • 1State Key Laboratory for Conservation and Utilization of Subtropical Agro-Bioresources, Animal Reproduction Institute, Guangxi University, Nanning 530004, Guangxi, China.


The full length of vasa cDNA in blue tilapia Oreochromis aureus was cloned and sequenced using reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) and rapid amplification of cDNA ends (RACE). Nucleotide sequence analysis revealed that the cDNA contained 2,143 bp and was consisted of a 48-bp 5' untranslated terminal region (5'-UTR), a 157-bp 3' untranslated terminal region (3'-UTR) and a 1,938-bp open reading frame (ORF) which encoded 645 amino acids. Homological protein analysis showed that vasa in O. aureus was highly conserved with Nile tilapia Oreochromis niloticus. Tissue distribution expression analysis indicated that vasa was specifically expressed in the gonads. Using in situ hybridization, we found that vasa was expressed in spermatogonia and spermatocytes rather than spermatids and sperm. In order to examine the influence of luteinizing hormone releasing hormone analog (LHRH-A) on vasa, the in vivo injections were performed different concentrations of LHRH-A. Our results showed that LHRH-A induced meiosis and down-regulated vasa mRNA expression. In summary, our results showed that vasa was specifically expressed in gonads and LHRH-A inhibited vasa expression in the testis. Our results also suggested that LHRH-A could regulate vasa gene expression in O. aureus testis.

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