Reviews in Fish Biology and Fisheries

, Volume 23, Issue 2, pp 175–194 | Cite as

Molecular cloning and gene expression analysis in aquaculture science: a review focusing on respiration and immune responses in European sea bass (Dicentrarchus labrax)

  • Genciana Terova
  • Simona Rimoldi
  • Giuliana Parisi
  • Laura Gasco
  • Antonio Pais
  • Giovanni Bernardini


Although fish farming has been practiced for 4,000 years, aquaculture research dates back only to about 1,870, whereas molecular techniques, in addition to the more traditional methods of biotechnology, were introduced only recently. Contemporary genomic approaches (often adapted from human or medical research) such as cDNA cloning and sequencing, cDNA microarray/expression analysis, and functional genomics, combined with improvements in transgenic technologies, have enhanced possibilities for aquacultural biotechnologists for improving fish growth rates and increasing resistance to pathogens and stressors. Although genomic technologies in fish have been applied primarily to model organisms, such as zebrafish (Danio rerio), fugu or pufferfish (Tetraodon nigroviridis), and medaka (Oryzias latipes), many teleosts of interest for biological research and with potential application in aquaculture have unique physiological characteristics that cannot be directly investigated from the study of small laboratory fish models. As a consequence, large-scale genomic research studies are increasingly being applied to farmed species of economic relevance, such as farmed rainbow trout, Atlantic salmon, tilapia, catfish, and sea bass. Accordingly, we describe the utilization of molecular cloning and gene expression analysis in cultured European sea bass (Dicentrarchus labrax) to generate “transcriptome-focused” information which may enable a better understanding of the transcriptional programs that underlie fish respiratory physiology and immune response pathways.


Aquaculture biotechnology Functional genomics Hypoxic stress biomarkers Hypercapnia Molecular cloning Gene expression Fish innate immune system 



This work has been funded under the seventh Framework Programme by the ARRAINA project N°288925: Advanced Research Initiatives for Nutrition & Aquaculture. The views expressed in this work are the sole responsibility of the authors and do not necessary reflect the views of the European Commission.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Genciana Terova
    • 1
    • 2
  • Simona Rimoldi
    • 2
  • Giuliana Parisi
    • 1
    • 3
  • Laura Gasco
    • 1
    • 4
  • Antonio Pais
    • 1
    • 5
  • Giovanni Bernardini
    • 2
  1. 1.ASPA (Association for Science and Animal Production) Commission “Aquaculture”ViterboItaly
  2. 2.Department of Biotechnology and Life Sciences (DBSV)University of InsubriaVareseItaly
  3. 3.Department of Agricultural BiotechnologyUniversity of FlorenceFlorenceItaly
  4. 4.Department of Agricultural, Forestry, and Food SciencesUniversity of Studies of TurinGrugliasco (Turin)Italy
  5. 5.Section of Animal Science, Department of AgricultureUniversity of SassariSassariItaly

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