Transcript response of soft coral (Scleronephthya gracillimum) on exposure to polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons
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Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) are the most persistent organic pollutants in worldwide aquatic environments. The extensive isolation of genes responsive to PAH pollution in soft coral (Scleronephthya gracillimum) is described herein. Soft coral colonies were exposed to 100 μg/L of a standard mixture of PAHs. Gene candidates with transcript levels that changed in response to PAH exposure were identified by differential display polymerase chain reaction (DD-PCR). There were 37 types of candidate genes identified, of which 20 were upregulated in expression and 17 were downregulated. The functions of the genes identified included oxidative stress response, ribosomal structure maintenance, molecular chaperone activity, protein kinase activation and tumorigenesis, defense mechanisms, transcription, and other biological responses. mRNA quantification was carried out using real-time quantitative PCR in eight selected genes: cytosolic malate dehydrogenase, protein disulfide isomerase, ribosomal protein L6, ral guanine nucleotide dissociation stimulator-like 1, poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase 4, peptidylglycine α-hydroxylating monooxygenase, a disintegrin and metalloproteinase (ADAM) metallopeptidase protein, and eukaryotic initiation factor 4 gamma 3. Changes in transcript levels were consistent with DD-PCR results. The gene candidates isolated in this study were differentially expressed and therefore have potential as molecular biomarkers for understanding coral responses to environmental stressors.
KeywordsPolycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon stress Differentially expressed genes DD-PCR qRT-PCR Soft coral Scleronephthya gracillimum
This subject was supported by “Marine and Extreme Genome Research Center Program” of the Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries, Republic of Korea to SY (KIOST project no. PM57372), and the Korea Institute of Ocean Science and Technology project (PE99152).
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