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, 14 (12), e0226698

Comparative Transcriptome Reveals the Potential Modulation Mechanisms of Estradiol Affecting Ovarian Development of Female Portunus Trituberculatus


Comparative Transcriptome Reveals the Potential Modulation Mechanisms of Estradiol Affecting Ovarian Development of Female Portunus Trituberculatus

Meimei Liu et al. PLoS One.


Estradiol is an important sex steroid hormone that is involved in the regulation of crustacean ovarian development. However, the molecular regulatory mechanisms of estradiol on ovarian development are largely unknown. This study performed transcriptome sequencing of ovary, hepatopancreas, brain ganglion, eyestalk, and mandibular organ of crabs after estradiol treatment (0.1μg g-1 crab weight). A total of 23, 806 genes were annotated, and 316, 1300, 669, 142, 383 genes were expressed differently in ovary, hepatopancreas, brain ganglion, eyestalk, and mandibular organ respectively. Differentially expressed gene enrichment analysis revealed several crucial pathways including protein digestion and absorption, pancreatic secretion, insect hormone biosynthesis, drug metabolism-cytochrome P450 and signal transduction pathway. Through this study, some key genes in correlation with the ovarian development and nutrition metabolism were significantly affected by estradiol, such as vitelline membrane outer layer 1-like protein, heat shock protein 70, Wnt5, JHE-like carboxylesterase 1, cytochrome P302a1, crustacean hyperglycemic hormone, neuropeptide F2, trypsin, carboxypeptidase B, pancreatic triacylglycerol lipase-like, and lipid storage droplet protein. Moreover, RT-qPCR validation demonstrated that expression of transcripts related to ovarian development (vitelline membrane outer layer 1-like protein and cytochrome P302a1) and nutrition metabolism (trypsin, glucose dehydrogenase and lipid storage droplet protein) were significantly affected by estradiol treatment. This study not only has identified relevant genes and several pathways that are involved in estradiol regulation on ovarian development of P. trituberculatus, but also provided new insight into the understanding of the molecular function mechanisms of estradiol in crustacean.

Conflict of interest statement

The authors have declared that no competing interests exist.


Fig 1
Fig 1. Species distribution of BLASTx hits.
Fig 2
Fig 2. Gene Ontology (GO) categorization for assembled unigenes.
Fig 3
Fig 3. Clusters of eggNOG functional classification of P. trituberculatus transcriptome.
Fig 4
Fig 4. Distribution of unigene numbers for the major KEGG pathway categories in the P. trituberculatus transcriptome.
Fig 5
Fig 5. KEGG enrichment analyses of DEGs.
The enrichment factor indicates the ratio of the DEGs number to the total gene number in a certain pathway. The size and color of the dots represent the gene number and the range of P values, respectively. The 1 and 2 represent estradiol group and control group, respectively. O: ovary; H: hepatopancreas; BG: brain ganglion; SG: eyestalk; MO: mandibular organ.
Fig 6
Fig 6. Comparison of gene expression patterns obtained using RNA-Seq and qRT-PCR.
Notes: Log-fold changes are expressed as the ratio of gene expression after normalization to 18S. The 1 and 2 represent estradiol group and control group, respectively.

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Grant support

This study was funded by the two projects (No. 41276158 and No. 41606169) from the Natural Science Foundation of China and a special research project (No. SZ-LYG2017019) for North Jiangsu area from Science and Technology Department of Jiangsu Province. Infrastructure costs were partially supported by the research project (No. A1-2801-18-1003) for high-level university in Shanghai from Shanghai Education Commission and Collaborative Innovation Project for Mari-culture industry in East China Sea from Ningbo University.