Peptidergic signaling in Calanus finmarchicus (Crustacea, Copepoda): in silico identification of putative peptide hormones and their receptors using a de novo assembled transcriptome

Gen Comp Endocrinol. 2013 Jun 15;187:117-35. doi: 10.1016/j.ygcen.2013.03.018. Epub 2013 Apr 8.


The copepod Calanus finmarchicus is the most abundant zooplankton species in the North Atlantic. While the life history of this crustacean is well studied, little is known about its peptidergic signaling systems despite the fact that these pathways are undoubtedly important components of its physiological/behavioral control systems. Here we have generated and used a de novo assembled transcriptome for C. finmarchicus (206,041 sequences in total) to identify peptide precursor proteins and receptors. Using known protein queries, 34 transcripts encoding peptide preprohormones and 18 encoding peptide receptors were identified. Using a combination of online software programs and homology to known arthropod isoforms, 148 mature peptides were predicted from the deduced precursors, including members of the allatostatin-A, allatostatin-B, allatostatin-C, bursicon, crustacean cardioactive peptide (CCAP), crustacean hyperglycemic hormone, diuretic hormone 31 (DH31), diuretic hormone 44 (DH44), FMRFamide-like peptide (myosuppressin, neuropeptide F [NPF] and extended FL/IRFamide subfamilies), leucokinin, neuroparsin, orcokinin, orcomyotropin, periviscerokinin, RYamide and tachykinin-related peptide (TRP) families. The identified receptors included ones for allatostatin-A, allatostatin-C, bursicon, CCAP, DH31, DH44, ecdysis-triggering hormone, NPF, short NPF, FMRFamide, insulin-like peptide, leucokinin, periviscerokinin, pigment dispersing hormone, and TRP. Developmental profiling of the identified transcripts in embryos, early nauplii, late nauplii, early copepodites, late copepodites, and adult females was also undertaken, with all showing the highest expression levels in the naupliar and copepodite stages. Collectively, these data radically expand the catalog of known C. finmarchicus peptidergic signaling proteins and provide a foundation for experiments directed at understanding the physiological roles served by them in this species.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Computational Biology
  • Copepoda / genetics
  • Copepoda / metabolism*
  • Neuropeptides / genetics
  • Neuropeptides / metabolism*
  • Neurotransmitter Agents / genetics
  • Neurotransmitter Agents / metabolism*
  • Peptide Hormones / genetics
  • Peptide Hormones / metabolism*
  • Transcriptome / genetics


  • Neuropeptides
  • Neurotransmitter Agents
  • Peptide Hormones