Effects of transgenic sterilization constructs and their repressor compounds on hatch, developmental rate and early survival of electroporated channel catfish embryos and fry

Transgenic Res. 2015 Apr;24(2):333-52. doi: 10.1007/s11248-014-9846-4. Epub 2014 Nov 4.


Channel catfish (Ictalurus punctatus) embryos were electroporated with sterilization constructs targeting primordial germ cell proteins or with buffer. Some embryos then were treated with repressor compounds, cadmium chloride, copper sulfate, sodium chloride or doxycycline, to prevent expression of the transgene constructs. Promoters included channel catfish nanos and vasa, salmon transferrin (TF), modified yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae copper transport protein (MCTR) and zebrafish racemase (RM). Knock-down systems were the Tet-off (nanos and vasa constructs), MCTR, RM and TF systems. Knock-down genes included shRNAi targeting 5' nanos (N1), 3' nanos (N2) or dead end (DND), or double-stranded nanos RNA (dsRNA) for overexpression of nanos mRNA. These constructs previously were demonstrated to knock down nanos, vasa and dead end, with the repressors having variable success. Exogenous DNA affected percentage hatch (% hatch), as all 14 constructs, except for the TF dsRNA, TF N1 (T), RM DND (C), vasa DND (C), vasa N1 (C) and vasa N2 (C), had lower % hatch than the control electroporated with buffer. The MCTR and RM DND (T) constructs resulted in delayed hatch, and the vasa and nanos constructs had minimal effects on time of hatch (P < 0.05). Cadmium chloride appeared to counteract the slow development caused by the TF constructs in two TF treatments (P < 0.05). The 4 ppt sodium chloride treatment for the RM system decreased % hatch (P < 0.05) and slowed development. In the case of nanos constructs, doxycycline greatly delayed hatch (P < 0.05). Adverse effects of the transgenes and repressors continued for several treatments for the first 6 days after hatch, but only in a few treatments during the next 10 days. Repressors and gene expression impacted the yield of putative transgenic channel catfish fry, and need to be considered and accounted for in the hatchery phase of producing transgenically sterilized catfish fry and their fertile counterparts. This fry output should be considered to ensure that sufficient numbers of transgenic fish are produced for future applications and for defining repressor systems that are the most successful.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Animals, Genetically Modified
  • Catfishes / genetics*
  • Catfishes / growth & development
  • Embryo, Nonmammalian
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Developmental
  • Germ Cells / drug effects
  • Germ Cells / growth & development*
  • RNA, Messenger / biosynthesis
  • Racemases and Epimerases / administration & dosage
  • Reproduction / genetics*
  • Transgenes*
  • Zebrafish / genetics
  • Zebrafish / metabolism


  • RNA, Messenger
  • Racemases and Epimerases