Browsing Doctoral Degrees (Genetics) by browse.metadata.advisor "Auzoux-Bordenave, S."
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- ItemGrowth-related gene expression in haliotis midae(Stellenbosch : University of Stellenbosch, 2010-12) Van der Merwe, Mathilde; Roodt-Wilding, R.; Auzoux-Bordenave, S.; Niesler, C.; University of Stellenbosch. Faculty of Agrisciences. Dept. of Genetics.ENGLISH ABSTRACT: The slow growth rate of Haliotis midae impedes the optimal commercial production of this most profitable South African aquaculture species. To date, no comprehensive effort has been made to identify genes associated with growth variation in farmed H. midae. The aim of this study was therefore to investigate growth variation in H. midae and to identify and quantify the expression of selected growth-related genes. Towards this aim, molecular methodologies and cell cultures were combined as a time-efficient and economical way of studying abalone transcriptomics and cell biology. Modern Illumina sequencing-by-synthesis technology and subsequent sequence annotation were used to elucidate differential gene expression between two sibling groups of abalone demonstrating significant growth variation. Following transcriptome sequencing, genes involved in growth and metabolism, previously unknown in H. midae, were identified. The expression of selected target genes involved in growth was subsequently analyzed by quantitative real-time PCR (qPCR). The feasibility of primary cell cultures for H. midae was furthermore investigated by targeting embryo, larval and haemolymph tissues for the initiation of primary cell culture. Larval cells and haemocytes could be successfully maintained in vitro for limited periods. Primary haemocyte cultures demonstrated to be a suitable in vitro system for studying gene expression and were subsequently used for RNA extraction and qPCR, to evaluate differential growth induced by bovine insulin and epidermal growth factor (EGF). Gene expression was thus quantified in fast and slow growing abalone and in in vitro primary haemocyte cultures treated with different growth stimulating factors. The results obtained from transcriptome analysis and qPCR revealed significant differences in gene expression between large and small abalone, and between treated and untreated haemocyte cell cultures. Throughout in vivo and in vitro qPCR experiments, the up-regulation of genes involved in the insulin signaling pathway provides evidence for the involvement of insulin in enhanced growth rate for various H. midae tissues. Besides the regulation of target genes, valuable knowledge was also gained in terms of reference genes, during qPCR experimentation. By quantifying the stable expression of two genes (8629, ribosomal protein S9 and 12621, ornithine decarboxylase) in various tissues and under various conditions, suitable reference genes, that can also be used in future H. midae qPCR studies, were identified. By providing evidence at the transcriptional level for the involvement of insulin, insulin-like growth factors (IGFs) and insulin-like growth factor binding proteins (IGFBPs) in improved growth rate of H. midae, the relevance of investigating ways to stimulate insulin/IGF release in aquaculture species was again emphasized. As nutritional administration remains the most probable route of introducing agents that can stimulate the release of insulin-related peptides, continuous endeavours to stimulate abalone growth through a nutritional approach is encouraged. This is the first time next generation sequencing is used towards the large scale transcriptome sequencing of any haliotid species and also the first time a comprehensive investigation is launched towards the establishment of primary cell cultures for H. midae. A considerable amount of sequence data was furthermore annotated for the first time in H. midae. The results obtained here provide a foundation for future genetic studies exploring ways to optimise the commercial production of H. midae.