Hypoxia is one of the major challenges in aquaculture industry. Breeding of fish tolerant to hypoxia is an important task in genetic improvement of aquaculture species. The Asian seabass, Lates calcarifer, is an important foodfish species. We identified and characterized the hypoxia-inducible factor inhibitor (HIF1αn) gene in the Asian seabass. The full-length cDNA sequence of the HIF1αn was 3425 bp, with an ORF of 1065 bp, encoding 354 amino acids. The genomic sequence of the gene was 8667 bp in length, and contained eight exons and seven introns. Phylogenetic analysis of the gene in fish and tetrapods revealed that the HIF1αn in the Asian seabass was closely related to that of tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus). The HIF1αn was highly up-regulated in the gill, spleen and heart after 3.5-hours hypoxia treatment. We identified three SNPs in the third and fourth introns of the HIF1αn gene. The SNP (i.e. SNP 9332241 (C/T)) in the fourth intron was significantly (P < 0.01) associated with hypoxia tolerance. This SNP might be useful in selecting Asian seabass for improved tolerance to hypoxia. Our data also provide useful information for further detailed analysis of the function of the HIF1αn gene in hypoxia tolerance.
Keywords: Asian seabass; Breeding; HIF1αn; Hypoxia; SNP.
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