Marine Biology

, 164:95 | Cite as

Genomic organization and spatio-temporal expression of the hemoglobin genes in European sea bass (Dicentrarchus labrax)

  • L. Cadiz
  • E. Desmarais
  • A. Servili
  • P. Quazuguel
  • L. Madec
  • C. Huelvan
  • O. Andersen
  • J. Zambonino-Infante
  • D. MazuraisEmail author
Original paper


Hemoglobins (Hb) play a critical role in satisfying the oxygen demand of vertebrate aerobic metabolism. The present study reports the characterization of the European sea bass (Dicentrarchus labrax) Hb genes, including genomic organization, phylogeny, and spatio-temporal gene expression. These Hb genes are divided into two unlinked clusters, the “MN” cluster containing eleven genes (five Hbα genes named MN-Hbα1-5 and six Hbβ genes named MN-Hbβ1–6) and the “LA” cluster consisting of three genes (two Hbα genes named LA-Hbα1-2 and one Hbβ gene named LA-Hbβ1). Comparative analysis of Hb amino acid sequences indicates that most of the important amino acid residues involved in hemoglobin-oxygen binding, particularly in the Bohr and Root effects, are generally well conserved, except in MN-Hbβ3. Six genes were mainly expressed during early life (MN-Hbα3-5, MN-Hbβ4–6), while the others were predominantly expressed at juvenile–adult stages. Adult fish expressed Hb genes at high levels in the head kidney and spleen; the main organs involved in blood formation. The Hb genes expressed in non-hematopoietic organs (intestine, gills, heart, brain, and liver) may facilitate oxygen homeostasis or be involved in antimicrobial defense. Stage- and tissue-specific gene expression patterns, together with the sequence features of the different Hb proteins, suggest a broad range of roles in European sea bass.


Markov Chain Monte Carlo Supplementary File Link Group Head Kidney Root Effect 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



The first author was supported by a joint Ifremer–Région Bretagne doctoral grant and by the “Laboratoire d’Excellence” LabexMER (ANR-10-LABX-19). The authors are very grateful to Laure Quintric and Fanny Marquer (Cellule bioinformatique, Centre Ifremer Bretagne) for bioinformatic assistance, to Dorothée Vincent for correcting the manuscript and to Helen Mc Combie for correcting the English. This is publication ISE-M 2017-058.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

All applicable international, national, and/or institutional guidelines for the care and use of animals were followed.

Supplementary material

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Supplementary material 1 (PDF 365 KB)
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Supplementary material 2 (PDF 319 KB)
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Supplementary material 7 (PDF 425 KB)
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Supplementary material 8 (PDF 426 KB)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • L. Cadiz
    • 1
  • E. Desmarais
    • 2
  • A. Servili
    • 1
  • P. Quazuguel
    • 1
  • L. Madec
    • 1
  • C. Huelvan
    • 1
  • O. Andersen
    • 3
    • 4
  • J. Zambonino-Infante
    • 1
  • D. Mazurais
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Ifremer, Unité de Physiologie Fonctionnelle des Organismes MarinsPlouzanéFrance
  2. 2.Institut des Sciences de l’Evolution (UMR 5554), Université de Montpellier, CNRS-UM-IRD-EPHEMontpellierFrance
  3. 3.NofimaÅsNorway
  4. 4.Department of Animal and Aquaculture SciencesNorwegian University of Life SciencesÅsNorway

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