Transcriptome Profiling of the Ovarian Cells at the Single-Cell Resolution in Adult Asian Seabass

Front Cell Dev Biol. 2021 Mar 29;9:647892. doi: 10.3389/fcell.2021.647892. eCollection 2021.


Single-cell RNA sequencing (scRNA-seq) is widely adopted for identifying the signature molecular markers or regulators in cells, as this would benefit defining or isolating various types of cells. Likewise, the signature transcriptome profile analysis at the single cell level would well illustrate the key regulators or networks involved in gametogenesis and gonad development in animals; however, there is limited scRNA-seq analysis on gonadal cells in lower vertebrates, especially in the sexual reversal fish species. In this study, we analyzed the molecular signature of several distinct cell populations of Asian seabass adult ovaries through scRNA-seq. We identified five cell types and also successfully validated some specific genes of germ cells and granulosa cells. Likewise, we found some key pathways involved in ovarian development that may concert germline-somatic interactions. Moreover, we compared the transcriptomic profiles across fruit fly, mammals, and fish, and thus uncovered the conservation and divergence in molecular mechanisms that might drive ovarian development. Our results provide a basis for studying the crucial features of germ cells and somatic cells, which will benefit the understandings of the molecular mechanisms behind gametogenesis and gonad development in fish.

Keywords: Asian seabass; aquatic animal; ovary; single-cell; transcriptome.