Scatophagus argus is a new emerging aquaculture fish in East and Southeast Asia. To date, research on reproductive development and regulation in S. argus is lacking. Additionally, genetic and genomic information about reproduction, such as gonadal transcriptome data, is also lacking. Herein, we report the first gonadal transcriptomes of S. argus and identify genes potentially involved in reproduction and gonadal development. A total of 136,561 unigenes were obtained by sequencing of testes (n = 3) and ovaries (n = 3) at stage III. Genes upregulated in males and females known to be involved in gonadal development and gametogenesis were identified, including male-biased dmrt1, amh, gsdf, wt1a, sox9b, and nanos2, and female-biased foxl2, gdf9, bmp15, sox3, zar1, and figla. Serum estradiol-17β and 11-ketotestosterone levels were biased in female and male fish, respectively. Sexual dimorphism of serum steroid hormone levels were interpreted after expression analysis of 20 steroidogenesis-related genes, including cyp19a1a and cyp11b2. This gonadal transcript dataset will help investigate functional genes related to reproduction in S. argus.
Keywords: Gonad; Scatophagus argus; Sex determination and differentiation; Sex steroid hormone; Transcriptome.