Outbreak of Taura syndrome virus (TSV) is one of the major pathogens of the Pacific white shrimp Litopenaeus vannamei. Although selective breeding for improvement of TSV resistance in L. vannamei has been successfully developed and has led to a great benefit to the shrimp farming industry worldwide. The molecular mechanisms underlying the viral resistance in shrimp remain largely unknown. In the present study, we conducted the first transcriptomic profiling of host responses in hemolymph and hemocytes in order to identify the differentially expressed genes associated with resistance to TSV in L. vannamei. High-throughput RNA-Seq was employed, obtaining 193.6 and 171.2 million high-quality Illumina reads from TSV-resistant and susceptible L. vannamei lines respectively. A total of 61,937 contigs were generated with an average length of 546.26 bp. BLASTX-based gene annotation (E-value < 10(-5)) allowed the identification of 12,398 unique proteins against the NCBI non-redundant NR database. In addition, comparison of digital gene expression between resistant and susceptible strains revealed 1374 significantly differentially expressed contigs (representing 697 unigenes). Gene pathway analysis of the differentially expressed gene set highlighted several putative genes involved in the immune response activity including (1) pathogen/antigen recognition including immune regulator, adhesive protein and signal transducer; (2) coagulation; (3) proPO pathway cascade; (4) antioxidation; and (5) protease. The expression patterns of 22 differentially expressed genes involving immune response were validated by quantitative real-time RT-PCR (average correlation coefficients 0.94, p-value < 0.001). Our results provide valuable information on gene functions associated with resistance to TSV in L. vannamei.
Keywords: Disease resistance; Immune response; L. vannamei; RNA-Seq; TSV infection; Transcriptome.
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