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PLoS One. 2019 Jan 10;14(1):e0210469. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0210469. eCollection 2019.

Comparative transcriptome analysis reveals osmotic-regulated genes in the gill of Chinese mitten crab (Eriocheir sinensis).

Yang Z1,2,3, Zhou J1,2,3, Wei B1,2,3, Cheng Y1,2,3, Zhang L1,2,3, Zhen X1,2,3.

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Key Laboratory of Freshwater Aquatic Genetic Resources, Ministry of Agriculture, Shanghai Ocean University, Shanghai, China.
Centre for Research on Environmental Ecology and Fish Nutrition (CREEFN) of the Ministry of Agriculture, Shanghai Ocean University, Shanghai, China.
National Demonstration Center for Experimental Fisheries Science Education, Shanghai Ocean University, Shanghai, China.


Salinity is one of the most important abiotic factors directly affecting the reproduction, molting, growth, immune, physiological and metabolic activities of Chinese mitten crab (Eriocheir sinensis). This species has strong osmoregulatory capacity and can maintain stringent internal homeostasis. However, the mechanisms conferring tolerance to salinity fluctuations are not well understood. To reveal the genes and pathways involved in osmoregulation, adult male crabs (body weight = 110 ± 5 g) were acclimated for 144 h in freshwater (FW, 0 ppt) or seawater (SW, 25 ppt). Changes in the transcriptome of crab gills were then analysed by RNA-Seq, and 174,903 unigenes were obtained. Comparison of genes between FW- SW-acclimated groups identified 932 genes that were significantly differentially expressed in the gill, comprising 433 and 499 up- and downregulated transcripts. Gene Ontology functional enrichment analysis revealed that important biological processes related to salt stress were significantly enriched, including energy metabolism, ion transport, signal transduction and antioxidant activity. Kyoto Encyclopaedia of Genes and Genomes enrichment analysis mapped the differentially expressed genes to 241 specific metabolic pathways, and pathways related to energy metabolism, oxidative phosphorylation and the tricarboxylic acid (TCA)/citrate cycle were significantly enriched. Salinity stress altered the expression of many enzymes involved in energy metabolism, ion transport, signal transduction and antioxidant pathways, including citrate synthase (CS), Na+/K+-ATPase (NKA), Na+-K+-2Cl cotransporter-1 (NKCC1), dopamine receptor D1 (DRD1), synaptic binding protein 1 (STXBP1), Cu2+/Zn2+ superoxide dismutase (SOD1) and glutathione S-transferase (GST). Additionally, the obtained transcriptomic sequencing data provided a useful resource for identification of novel genes, and further physiological analysis of Chinese mitten crab.

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Conflict of interest statement

The authors have declared that no competing interests exist.

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