Gene Expression Patterns During the Larval Development of European Sea Bass (Dicentrarchus Labrax) by Microarray Analysis
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During the larval period, marine teleosts undergo very fast growth and dramatic changes in morphology, metabolism, and behavior to accomplish their metamorphosis into juvenile fish. Regulation of gene expression is widely thought to be a key mechanism underlying the management of the biological processes required for harmonious development over this phase of life. To provide an overall analysis of gene expression in the whole body during sea bass larval development, we monitored the expression of 6,626 distinct genes at 10 different points in time between 7 and 43 days post-hatching (dph) by using heterologous hybridization of a rainbow trout cDNA microarray. The differentially expressed genes (n = 485) could be grouped into two categories: genes that were generally up-expressed early, between 7 and 23 dph, and genes up-expressed between 25 and 43 dph. Interestingly, among the genes regulated during the larval period, those related to organogenesis, energy pathways, biosynthesis, and digestion were over-represented compared with total set of analyzed genes. We discuss the quantitative regulation of whole-body contents of these specific transcripts with regard to the ontogenesis and maturation of essential functions that take place over larval development. Our study is the first utilization of a transcriptomic approach in sea bass and reveals dynamic changes in gene expression patterns in relation to marine finfish larval development.