Functional Annotation and Analysis of Expressed Sequence Tags from the Hepatopancreas of Mitten Crab (Eriocheir sinensis)
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Due to its popularity as a traditional food, intensive harvesting of the mitten crab (Eriocheir sinensis) is common and has lead to an increase in disease incidence, resulting in catastrophic losses to crab aquaculture. The hepatopancreas of E. sinensis is not only an important digestive organ but also an indispensable immune organ. We constructed a nonnormalized cDNA library from the hepatopancreas of E. sinensis and acquired 3,297 high-quality expressed sequence tags representing 1,178 unigenes. More than half of these unigenes were novel genes for this species; the remaining had homologs in public databases, which is of great importance for future functional research. We also investigated the association of these genes with immune processes for insight into one of the main functions of the hepatopancreas besides metabolism. Despite the relatively low sampling scalar of our cDNA library, we were able to demonstrate several important properties of the hepatopancreatic transcriptome and identified numerous genes that were closely associated with immune responses. These results might serve as the basis for an in-depth genomics study of E. sinensis, including transcriptome analysis, physical mapping, and whole genome sequencing.
KeywordsEriocheir sinensis Hepatopancreas Expressed sequence tag Invertebrates Innate immunity
This research was supported by grants from the National Nature Science Foundation of China (no. 30671607), the Key Basic Research Project (06DJ14003) from the Science and Technology Commission of the Shanghai Municipal Government, Zhejiang Key Science and Technology Program (2005C12006-1), and the Specialized Project for the Key Technology Research of Agricultural Restructuring from the Ministry of Agriculture.
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