RNA sequencing analysis of transcriptional change in the freshwater mussel Elliptio complanata after environmentally relevant sodium chloride exposure

Product Type: 

Journal Article

Year: 

2017

Author(s): 

Robertson, L.S., Galbraith, H.S., Iwanowicz, D., Blakeslee, C.J. and Cornman, R.S.

Suggested Citation: 

Robertson, L.S., Galbraith, H.S., Iwanowicz, D., Blakeslee, C.J. and Cornman, R.S., 2017. RNA‐Seq analysis of transcriptional change in the freshwater mussel Elliptio complanata after environmentally relevant sodium chloride exposure. Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry. DOI: 10.1002/etc.3774

To identify potential biomarkers of salt stress in a freshwater sentinel species, we examined transcriptional responses of the common mussel Elliptio complanata to controlled sodium chloride (NaCl) exposures. Ribonucleic acid sequencing (RNA-Seq) of mantle tissue identified 481 transcripts differentially expressed in adult mussels exposed to 2 ppt NaCl (1.2 ppt chloride) for 7 d, of which 290 had nonoverlapping intervals. Differentially expressed gene categories included ion and transmembrane transport, oxidoreductase activity, maintenance of protein folding, and amino acid metabolism. The rate-limiting enzyme for synthesis of taurine, an amino acid frequently linked to osmotic stress in aquatic species, was upregulated, as was the transmembrane ion pump sodium/potassium adenosine 5′-triphosphatase. These patterns confirm a primary transcriptional response to the experimental dose, albeit likely overlapping with nonspecific secondary stress responses. Substantial involvement of the heat shock protein 70 chaperone family and the water-transporting aquaporin family was not detected, however, in contrast to some studies in other bivalves. A subset of the most significantly regulated genes was confirmed by quantitative polymerase chain reaction in an independent sample. Cluster analysis showed separation of mussels exposed to 2 ppt NaCl from control mussels in multivariate space, but mussels exposed to 1 ppt NaCl were largely indistinguishable from controls. Transcriptome-scale analysis of salt exposure under laboratory conditions efficiently identified candidate biomarkers for further functional analysis and field validation

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Robert Cornman
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