Exploring the molecular basis of adaptive evolution in hydrothermal vent crab <i>Austinograea alayseae</i> by transcriptome analysis
by Min Hui, Chengwen Song, Yuan Liu, Chaolun Li, Zhaoxia CuiElucidating the genetic mechanisms of adaptation to the hydrothermal vent in organisms at genomic level is significant for understanding the adaptive evolution process in the extreme environment. We performed RNA-seq on four different tissues of a vent crab species, Austinograea alayseae, producing 725,461 unigenes and 134,489 annotated genes. Genes related to sensory, circadian rhythm, hormone, hypoxia stress, metal detoxification and immunity were identified. It was noted that in the degenerated eyestalk, transcription of phototransduction related genes which are important for retinal function was greatly reduced; three crucial neuropeptide hormones, one molt-inhibiting and two crustacean hyperglycemic hormone precursors were characterized with conserved domains; hypoxia-inducible factor 1 and two novel isoforms of metallothioneins in the vent crabs were discovered. An analysis of 6,932 orthologs among three crabs A. alayseae, Portunus trituberculutus and Eriocheir sinensis revealed 19 positive selected genes (PSGs). Most of the PSGs were involved in immune responses, such as crustins and anti-lipopolysaccharide factor, suggesting their function in the adaptation to environment. The characterization of the first vent crab transcriptome provides abundant resources for genetic and evolutionary studies of this species, and paves the way for further investigation of vent adaptation process in crabs.
Publisher URL: http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article
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