De Novo Assembly of the Transcriptome of Turritopsis, a Jellyfish that Repeatedly Rejuvenates

Zoolog Sci. 2016 Aug;33(4):366-71. doi: 10.2108/zs150186.


In most animals, aging is an irreversible process; however the species Turritopsis sp. has been observed to undergo a rejuvenation process as many as 14 times. In the present study, we used multiplexed RNA libraries to obtain the transcriptome from four developmental stages (St) of Turritopsis sp., including (I) immature medusa, (II) dumpling, (III) dumpling with a short stolon, and (IV) polyp, which had recently rejuvenated. A total of 4.02 billion paired-end reads were assembled de novo, yielding 90,327 contigs. Our analyses revealed that significant blast hits were recovered for 74% of the assembled contigs, and 19% were successfully annotated with gene ontology (GO) terms. A BLAST search demonstrated that 32% of the contigs were most similar to Hydra vulgarissequences. Raw reads from each sample were mapped against the contigs to find St-specific genes. This represents the first comprehensive set of de novo transcriptome data for this species, which may provide clues toward a better understanding of cyclical rejuvenation in multicellular animals.

Keywords: RNA-Seq; Turritopsis; de novo assembly; jellyfish; rejuvenation.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Developmental
  • Rejuvenation / physiology*
  • Scyphozoa / genetics
  • Scyphozoa / metabolism*
  • Sequence Analysis / methods
  • Transcriptome*