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Comp Biochem Physiol C Toxicol Pharmacol. 2013 Mar;157(2):203-11. doi: 10.1016/j.cbpc.2012.11.001. Epub 2012 Nov 16.

Differential gene expression profile of the calanoid copepod, Pseudodiaptomus annandalei, in response to nickel exposure.

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College of Ocean & Earth Sciences, State Key Laboratory of Marine Environmental Science, Xiamen University, Xiamen 361005, PR China.


To better understand the underlying mechanisms of reactions of copepods exposed to elevated level of nickel, the suppression subtractive hybridization (SSH) was used to elucidate the response of the copepod Pseudodiaptomus annandalei to nickel exposure at the gene level. P. annandale is one of a few copepod species that can be cultured relatively easy under laboratory condition, and it is considered to be a potential model species for toxicity study. In the present study, P. annandalei were exposed to nickel at a concentration of 8.86 mgL(-1) for 24h, after which the RNA was prepared for SSH using unexposed P. annandalei as drivers. A total of 474 clones on the middle scale in the SSH library were sequenced. Among these genes, 129 potential functional genes were recognized based on the BLAST searches in NCBI and Uniprot databases. These genes were then categorized into nine groups in association with different biological processes using AmiGO against the Gene Ontology database. Of the 129 genes, 127 translatable DNA sequences were predicted to be proteins, and the putative amino acid sequences were searched for conserved domains (CD) and proteins using the CD-Search service and BLASTp. Among 129 genes, 119 (92.2%) were annotated to be involved in different biological processes, while 10 genes (7.8%) were classified as an unknown-function gene group. To further confirm the up-regulation of differentially expressed genes, the quantitative real time PCR were performed to test eight randomly selected genes, in which five of them, i.e. α-tubulin, ribosomal protein L13, ferritin, separase and Myohemerythrin-1, exhibited clear up-regulation after nickel exposure. In addition, MnSOD was further studied for the differential expression pattern after nickel exposure and the results showed that MnSOD had a time- and dose-dependent expression pattern in the copepod after nickel exposure. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first attempt to investigate the toxicity effects of nickel on a copepod at molecular level.

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