Development and validation of a mixed tissue oligonucleotide DNA microarray for Atlantic bluefin tuna, Thunnus thynnus (Linnaeus, 1758)



Trumbic Z, Bekaert M, Taggart J, Bron J, Gharbi K & Mladineo I (2015) Development and validation of a mixed tissue oligonucleotide DNA microarray for Atlantic bluefin tuna, Thunnus thynnus (Linnaeus, 1758). BMC Genomics, 16, Art. No.: 1007.

Background  The largest of the tuna species, Atlantic bluefin tuna (Thunnus thynnus), inhabits the North Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea and is considered to be an endangered species, largely a consequence of overfishing.T. thynnusaquaculture, referred to as fattening or farming, is a capture based activity dependent on yearly renewal from the wild. Thus, the development of aquaculture practices independent of wild resources can provide an important contribution towards ensuring security and sustainability of this species in the longer-term. The development of such practices is today greatly assisted by large scale transcriptomic studies.  Results  We have used pyrosequencing technology to sequence a mixed-tissue normalised cDNA library, derived from adultT. thynnus. A total of 976,904 raw sequence reads were assembled into 33,105 unique transcripts having a mean length of 893 bases and an N50 of 870. Of these, 33.4% showed similarity to known proteins or gene transcripts and 86.6% of them were matched to the congeneric Pacific bluefin tuna (Thunnus orientalis) genome, compared to 70.3% for the more distantly related Nile tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus) genome. Transcript sequences were used to develop a novel 15K Agilent oligonucleotide DNA microarray forT. thynnusand comparative tissue gene expression profiles were inferred for gill, heart, liver, ovaries and testes. Functional contrasts were strongest between gills and ovaries. Gills were particularly associated with immune system, signal transduction and cell communication, while ovaries displayed signatures of glycan biosynthesis, nucleotide metabolism, transcription, translation, replication and repair.  Conclusions  Sequence data generated from a novel mixed-tissueT. thynnuscDNA library provide an important transcriptomic resource that can be further employed for study of various aspects ofT. thynnusecology and genomics, with strong applications in aquaculture. Tissue-specific gene expression profiles inferred through the use of novel oligo-microarray can serve in the design of new and more focused transcriptomic studies for future research of tuna physiology and assessment of the welfare in a production environment.

Thunnus thynnus; transcriptome; Microarray; Tissue gene expression, genome mapping

BMC Genomics: Volume 16

Publication date30/11/2015
Publication date online30/11/2015
Date accepted by journal12/11/2015
PublisherBioMed Central

People (2)


Dr Michaël Bekaert
Dr Michaël Bekaert

Senior Lecturer, Institute of Aquaculture

Professor James Bron
Professor James Bron

Professor, Institute of Aquaculture