Marine Biotechnology

, Volume 20, Issue 4, pp 467–480 | Cite as

Gonadal Transcriptome Analysis of Pacific Abalone Haliotis discus discus: Identification of Genes Involved in Germ Cell Development

  • Lingyun Yu
  • Dongdong Xu
  • Huan Ye
  • Huamei Yue
  • Shioh Ooka
  • Hidehiro Kondo
  • Ryosuke Yazawa
  • Yutaka Takeuchi
Original Article


Little is known about the molecular mechanisms governing gonadal developmental processes in abalones. Here, we conducted transcriptome analysis of Pacific abalone Haliotis discus discus for gene discovery in the brain, ovary, testis, and unfertilized eggs. Among the annotated unigenes, 48.6% of unigenes were identified by Venn diagram analysis as having universal or tissue-specific expression. Twenty-three genes with gonad-biased gene ontology (GO) terms were first obtained. Secondly, 36 genes were found by screening known gene names related to germ cell development. Finally, 17 genes were obtained by querying the annotated unigene database for zygotically expressed gonadal genes (ovary and testis) and maternally expressed gonadal genes (ovary, testis, and unfertilized eggs) using keywords related to reproduction. To further verify tissue distribution pattern and subcellular localization of these genes, RT-PCR and in situ hybridization were performed using a unigene encoding a germ cell marker, vasa, as control. The results showed that vasa was expressed mainly in the early developmental stages of germ cells in both sexes. One of the candidate genes, vitelline envelope zona pellucida domain protein 12 (ZP12), was expressed in the primordial germ cells of immature gonad and early developmental stages of germ cells of the adult female. The results obtained from the present study suggest that vasa and ZP12 are involved in germ cell development of Pacific abalone and that ZP12 is an especially useful germ cell-specific marker in immature adults. The current gonadal transcriptome profile is an extensive resource for future reproductive molecular biology studies of this species.


RNA-Seq Gonadal transcriptome Germ cell development vasa ZP12 



This work was supported by JSPS Grant-in-Aid for Challenging Exploratory Research Grant Number 15K14802.

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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Research Center for Advanced Science and TechnologyTokyo University of Marine Science and TechnologyTateyamaJapan
  2. 2.Marine Fishery Institute of Zhejiang Province, Key Lab of Mariculture and Enhancement of Zhejiang ProvinceZhoushanChina
  3. 3.Key Laboratory of Freshwater Biodiversity Conservation, Ministry of Agriculture of China, Yangtze River Fisheries Research InstituteChinese Academy of Fishery SciencesWuhanChina
  4. 4.Japan Ocean Resources Development and Engineering Co., Ltd.KishiwadaJapan
  5. 5.Department of Marine BioscienceTokyo University of Marine Science and TechnologyTokyoJapan
  6. 6.Faculty of FisheriesKagoshima UniversityKagoshimaJapan

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