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Integrative transcriptome analysis and discovery of genes involving in immune response of hypoxia/thermal challenges in the small abalone Haliotis diversicolor

Zhang, Xin, Shi, Jialong, Sun, Yulong, Habib, Yusuf Jibril, Yang, Huiping, Zhang, Ziping, Wang, Yilei
Fish & shellfish immunology 2019 v.84 pp. 609-626
Haliotis diversicolor, RNA interference, abalone, aquaculture industry, databases, environmental factors, fish, hemocytes, hypoxia, immune response, innate immunity, mollusc culture, quantitative polymerase chain reaction, sequence homology, shellfish, signal transduction, summer, thermal stress, transcriptome, transcriptomics, unigenes
In recent years, the abalone aquaculture industry has been threatened by the deteriorating environmental conditions, such as hypoxia and thermal stress in the hot summers. It is necessary to investigate the molecular mechanism in response to these environmental challenges, and subsequently understand the immune defense system. In this study, the transcriptome profiles by RNA-seq of hemocytes from the small abalone Haliotis diversicolor after exposure to hypoxia, thermal stress, and hypoxia plus thermal stress were established. A total of 103,703,074 clean reads were obtained and 99,774 unigenes were assembled. Of the 99,774 unigenes, 47,154 and 20,455 had homologous sequences in the Nr and Swiss-Prot protein databases, while 16,944 and 10,840 unigenes could be classified by COG or KEGG databases, respectively. RNAseq analysis revealed that the differentially expressed genes (DEGs) after challenges of hypoxia, thermal stress, or hypoxia plus thermal stress were 24,189, 29,165 and 23,665, among which more than 3000 genes involved in at least 230 pathways, including several classical immune-related pathways. The genes and pathways that were involved in immune response to hypoxia/thermal challenges were identified by transcriptome analysis and further validated by quantitative real-time PCR and RNAi technology. The findings in this study can provide information on H. diversicolor innate immunity to improve the abalone aquaculture industry, and the analysis of the potential immune-related genes in innate immunity signaling pathways and the obtained transcriptome data can provide an invaluable genetic resource for the study of the genome and functional genes.