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Gene. 2008 Feb 29;410(1):207-13. doi: 10.1016/j.gene.2007.12.012. Epub 2007 Dec 23.

Genes expressed in Blue Fin Tuna (Thunnus thynnus) liver and gonads.

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Dipartimento di Biotecnologie e Scienze Molecolari, Università dell'Insubria, 3 Via Dunant, Varese, Italy.


Blue Fin Tuna (BFT), Thunnus thynnus, has been seriously endangered by global massive overfishing and by the pollution of marine environment. Feeding and fattening of caught tuna in marine cages is a recent resource, but the development of a self-sustained aquaculture activity, being independent from the supply of wild fish, is required from both industrial and conservation perspectives. At this scope, several technical problems have to be solved and the control of reproduction is the cardinal one. Beside the technological developments of farming facilities and protocols, a molecular approach seems promising for the studies of appropriate nutritional strategies, reproduction physiology and animal welfare, as well as lifestyle and response to endocrine disruptor pollutants. In this context, we have started an EST project on this species sequencing 2743, 2907, and 3014 clones from expression libraries of ovary, testis and liver, respectively, and 1499 clones from an ovary normalized library. Thanks to this project, we have identified several sequences with known function in other organisms, but not previously described in this species. Among the new genes, 712 were found only in the expression library of the ovary, 613 in that of the testis and 318 in that of the liver, while 324 additional genes were shared by two or more expression libraries; other 127 genes not found in the expression libraries were obtained from the ovary normalized library. This represents a contribution to the knowledge of the molecular basis of BFT and a necessary step for facilitating further molecular studies on this species. Accession numbers: EC 091633 to EC 093160; EG 629962 to EG 631176; EC 917676 to EC 919417; EG 999340 to EG 999999; EH 000001 to EH 000505; EH 667253 to EH 668984; EL 610526 to EL 611807; EC 42144 to EC 422414; and EH 379568 to EH 380065.

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