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Mar Genomics August 1, 2022; 64 100957.
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Transcriptomic response of intertidal brittle star Ophiothrix exigua to seasonal variation.

Fuad MTI , Shi W , Liao X , Li Y , Sharifuzzaman SM , Zhang X , Liu X , Xu Q .

Adaptation to seasonal change is essential for survival, and is especially critical for organisms living in physically harsh environments. Brittle stars (Ophiothrix), known as a keystone species, inhabiting the intertidal rocky ecosystem are affected by multiple stressors, but molecular insights into their adaptation remain poorly studied. In the present study, transcriptomic responses of Ophiothrix exigua from the intertidal habitats of the North Pacific Ocean during summer and winter are reported. A total of 12,844 differentially expressed genes (DEGs) were identified. Of these, 7102 genes were up-regulated and 5742 genes were down-regulated in summer relative to winter. One hundred fifty-two key DEGs, including 31 up-regulated and 121 down-regulated genes, were categorized into three major subcategories and seven subclasses. The key DEGs included heat shock cognate protein 70 (HSC70), toll-like receptor-2 (TLR2), cAMP-dependent protein kinase catalytic subunit beta-like isoform X2 (PKA), serine/threonine-protein kinase mTOR (MTOR), and ras-related c3 botulinum toxin substrate 1 isoform X1 (RAC1). Glutathione peroxidase-like (GPX) and tubulin superfamily members (TUBA, TUBB) were consistent across seasons. The main defense-related pathways in brittle star were phagosome, apoptosis, and glutathione metabolism. These findings would greatly enhance our understanding of the genomic basis of environmental adaptation in intertidal invertebrates.

PubMed ID: 35580505
Article link: Mar Genomics