Gill and liver transcriptomic responses of Achirus lineatus (Neopterygii: Achiridae) exposed to water-accommodated fraction (WAF) of light crude oil reveal an onset of hypoxia-like condition

Environ Sci Pollut Res Int. 2021 Mar 1. doi: 10.1007/s11356-021-12909-7. Online ahead of print.

Abstract

Crude oil is one of the most widespread pollutants released into the marine environment, and native species have provided useful information about the effect of crude oil pollution in marine ecosystems. We consider that the lined sole Achirus lineatus can be a useful monitor of the effect of crude oil in the Gulf of Mexico (GoM) because this flounder species has a wide distribution along the GoM, and its response to oil components is relevant. The objective of this study was to compare the transcriptomic changes in liver and gill of adults lined sole fish (Achirus lineatus) exposed to a sublethal acute concentration of water-accommodated fraction (WAF) of light crude oil for 48 h. RNA-Seq was performed to assess the transcriptional changes in both organs. A total of 1073 differentially expressed genes (DEGs) were detected in gills; 662 (61.69%) were upregulated, and 411 (38.30%) were downregulated whereas in liver, 515 DEGs; 306 (59.42%) were upregulated, and 209 (40.58%) were downregulated. Xenobiotic metabolism and redox metabolism, along with DNA repair mechanisms, were activated. The induction of hypoxia-regulated genes and the generalized regulation of multiple signaling pathways support the hypothesis that WAF exposition causes a hypoxia-like condition.

Keywords: Gulf of Mexico; Hypoxia; Light crude oil; Lined sole; Transcriptomic analysis; WAF acute exposure.