Publications by authors named "Virgile Quillien"

15 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

Microplastics contamination in pearl-farming lagoons of French Polynesia.

J Hazard Mater 2021 Jun 11;419:126396. Epub 2021 Jun 11.

Univ Brest, Ifremer, CNRS, IRD, LEMAR, F-29280 Plouzané, France.

Pearl-farming is the second most important source of income in French Polynesia. However, tropical lagoons are fragile ecosystems with regard to anthropogenic pressures like plastic pollution, which threaten marine life and the pearl oyster-related economy. Here, we investigated the spatial distribution of microplastics (MP) and concentrations in surface water (SW), water column (WC) and cultivated pearl oyster (PO) from three pearl-farming atolls with low population and tourism. Microplastics were categorized by their size class, shape, colour and polymer type identified using FTIR spectroscopy. Widespread MP contamination was observed in every study site (SW, 0.2-8.4 MP m; WC, 14.0-716.2 MP m; PO, 2.1-125.0 MP g dry weight), with high contamination in the WC highlighting the need to study the vertical distribution of MP, especially as this compartment where PO are reared. A large presence of small (< 200 µm) and fragment-shaped (> 70%) MP suggests that they result from the breakdown of larger plastic debris. The most abundant polymer type was polyethylene in SW (34-39%), WC (24-32%), while in PO, polypropylene (14-20%) and polyethylene were more evenly distributed (9-21%). The most common MP identified as black-grey polyethylene and polypropylene matches the polymer and colour of ropes and collectors questioning a pearl-farming origin.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jhazmat.2021.126396DOI Listing
June 2021

Tracing key genes associated with the Pinctada margaritifera albino phenotype from juvenile to cultured pearl harvest stages using multiple whole transcriptome sequencing.

BMC Genomics 2020 Sep 25;21(1):662. Epub 2020 Sep 25.

Ifremer, UMR EIO 241, Centre du Pacifique, BP 49, 98719, Taravao, Tahiti, Polynéise française, France.

Background: Albino mutations are commonly observed in the animal kingdom, including in bivalves. In the black-lipped pearl oyster Pinctada margaritifera, albino specimens are characterized by total or partial absence of colouration resulting in typical white shell phenotype expression. The relationship of shell colour with resulting cultured pearl colour is of great economic interest in P. margaritifera, on which a pearl industry is based. Hence, the albino phenotype provides a useful way to examine the molecular mechanisms underlying pigmentation.

Results: Whole transcriptome RNA-sequencing analysis comparing albino and black wild-type phenotypes at three stages over the culture cycle of P. margaritifera revealed a total of 1606, 798 and 187 differentially expressed genes in whole juvenile, adult mantle and pearl sac tissue, respectively. These genes were found to be involved in five main molecular pathways, tightly linked to known pigmentation pathways: melanogenesis, calcium signalling pathway, Notch signalling pathway, pigment transport and biomineralization. Additionally, significant phenotype-associated SNPs were selected (N = 159), including two located in the Pif biomineralization gene, which codes for nacre formation. Interestingly, significantly different transcript splicing was detected between juvenile (N = 1366) and adult mantle tissue (N = 313) in, e.g., the tyrosinase Tyr-1 gene, which showed more complex regulation in mantle, and the Notch1 encoding gene, which was upregulated in albino juveniles.

Conclusion: This multiple RNA-seq approach provided new knowledge about genes associated with the P. margaritifera albino phenotype, highlighting: 1) new molecular pathways, such as the Notch signalling pathway in pigmentation, 2) associated SNP markers with biomineraliszation gene of interest like Pif for marker-assisted selection and prevention of inbreeding, and 3) alternative gene splicing for melanin biosynthesis implicating tyrosinase.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12864-020-07015-wDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7517651PMC
September 2020

Microplastics induce dose-specific transcriptomic disruptions in energy metabolism and immunity of the pearl oyster Pinctada margaritifera.

Environ Pollut 2020 Nov 8;266(Pt 3):115180. Epub 2020 Jul 8.

Ifremer, Institut Louis-Malardé, IRD, Univ Polynésie Française, EIO, F-98719, Taravao, Tahiti, Polynésie française, France. Electronic address:

A combined approach integrating bioenergetics and major biological activities is essential to properly understand the impact of microplastics (MP) on marine organisms. Following experimental exposure of polystyrene microbeads (micro-PS of 6 and 10 μm) at 0.25, 2.5, and 25 μg L, which demonstrated a dose-dependent decrease of energy balance in the pearl oyster Pinctada margaritifera, a transcriptomic study was conducted on mantle tissue. Transcriptomic data helped us to decipher the molecular mechanisms involved in P. margaritifera responses to micro-PS and search more broadly for effects on energetically expensive maintenance functions. Genes related to the detoxification process were impacted by long-term micro-PS exposure through a decrease in antioxidant response functioning, most likely leading to oxidative stress and damage, especially at higher micro-PS doses. The immune response was also found to be dose-specific, with a stress-related activity stimulated by the lowest dose present after a 2-month exposure period. This stress response was not observed following exposure to higher doses, reflecting an energy-limited capacity of pearl oysters to cope with prolonged stress and a dramatic shift to adjust to pessimum conditions, mostly limited and hampered by a lowered energetic budget. This preliminary experiment lays the foundation for exploring pathways and gene expression in P. margaritifera, and marine mollusks in general, under MP exposure. We also propose a conceptual framework to properly assess realistic MP effects on organisms and population resilience in future investigations.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.envpol.2020.115180DOI Listing
November 2020

Microplastics Affect Energy Balance and Gametogenesis in the Pearl Oyster Pinctada margaritifera.

Environ Sci Technol 2018 05 12;52(9):5277-5286. Epub 2018 Apr 12.

Ifremer, UMR Ecosystèmes Insulaires Océaniens (EIO), UMR 241 UPF/ILM/IRD/Ifremer , Centre du Pacifique , BP 49 , 98719 , Taravao , French Polynesia.

Plastic pollution in the environment is increasing at global scale. Microplastics (MP) are derived from degradation of larger plastic items or directly produced in microparticles form (< 5 mm). Plastics, widely used in structures and equipment of pearl farming, are a source of pollution to the detriment of the lagoon ecosystem. To evaluate the impact of MP on the physiology of Pinctada margaritifera, a species of ecological and commercial interests, adult oysters were exposed to polystyrene microbeads (micro-PS of 6 and 10 μm) for 2 months. Three concentrations, 0.25, 2.5, and 25 μg L, and a control were tested. Ingestion and respiration rate and assimilation efficiency were monitored on a metabolic measurement system to determine the individual energy balance (Scope For Growth, SFG). Effects on reproduction were also assessed. The assimilation efficiency decreased significantly according to micro-PS concentration. The SFG was significantly impacted by a dose-dependent decrease from 0.25 μg L ( p < 0.0001), and a negative SFG was measured in oysters exposed to 25 μg L. Gonads may have provided the missing energy to maintain animals' metabolism through the production of metabolites derived from germ cells phagocytosis. This study shows that micro-PS significantly impact the assimilation efficiency and more broadly the energy balance of P. margaritifera, with negative repercussions on reproduction.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acs.est.8b00168DOI Listing
May 2018

Phenome of pearl quality traits in the mollusc transplant model Pinctada margaritifera.

Sci Rep 2018 02 1;8(1):2122. Epub 2018 Feb 1.

SCA Regahiga Pearls, BP 48, 98755, Rikitea, Gambier, Polynésie Française.

The bivalve Pinctada margaritifera exhibits three main transplant phenotypes derived from the donor (from which a mantle graft tissue, the saibo, is excised), the recipient (into which the saibo is implanted with a nucleus, leading to the formation of a pearl sac "chimera") and the cultured pearls themselves. This first phenome study on the species derived from a large experimental graft. Transplant phenotype was assessed at three scales: 1) macro, pearl size, colour, grade, 2) micro, pearl surface microstructure, and 3) molecular, biomineralisation gene expression level in saibo and pearl sac tissues. From donor to pearl, the phenome revealed fine variations of quality traits dependent on the position on the mantle where the saibo was cut, whose variation could overlap with inter-individual donor phenotype differences. A single donor phenotype could therefore produce multiple pearl phenotypes at the scale of the saibo position, mirroring its original activity at the mantle position level and the colour and shape of the shell. This phenome study provides essential information on phenotypic trait architecture enabling us to explore and explain the main biological functions and pave the way for a phenomic project on P. margaritifera that could benefit the pearl industry.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41598-018-20564-1DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5794767PMC
February 2018

Long dsRNAs promote an anti-viral response in Pacific oyster hampering ostreid herpesvirus 1 replication.

J Exp Biol 2017 10 10;220(Pt 20):3671-3685. Epub 2017 Aug 10.

Ifremer, UMR 6539 CNRS/UBO/IRD/Ifremer, LEMAR, 29280 Plouzané, France.

Double-stranded RNA (dsRNA)-mediated genetic interference (RNAi) is a widely used reverse genetic tool for determining the loss-of-function phenotype of a gene. Here, the possible induction of an immune response by long dsRNA was tested in a marine bivalve (), as well as the specific role of the subunit 2 of the nuclear factor κB inhibitor (). This gene is a candidate of particular interest for functional investigations in the context of oyster mass mortality events, as mRNA levels exhibited significant variation depending on the amount of ostreid herpesvirus 1 (OsHV-1) DNA detected. In the present study, dsRNAs targeting and green fluorescent protein genes were injected into oysters before being challenged by OsHV-1. Survival appeared close to 100% in both dsRNA-injected conditions associated with a low detection of viral DNA and a low expression of a panel of 39 OsHV-1 genes as compared with infected control. Long dsRNA molecules, both Cg-IκB2- and GFP-dsRNA, may have induced an anti-viral state controlling the OsHV-1 replication and precluding the understanding of the specific role of Immune-related genes including , , , and appeared activated in the dsRNA-injected condition, potentially hampering viral replication and thus conferring a better resistance to OsHV-1 infection. We revealed that long dsRNA-mediated genetic interference triggered an anti-viral state in the oyster, emphasizing the need for new reverse genetics tools for assessing immune gene function and avoiding off-target effects in bivalves.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1242/jeb.156299DOI Listing
October 2017

Oyster reproduction is affected by exposure to polystyrene microplastics.

Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 2016 Mar 1;113(9):2430-5. Epub 2016 Feb 1.

Laboratoire des Sciences de l'Environnement Marin, UMR 6539 UBO-CNRS-Institute Français de Recherche pour l'Exploitation de la Mer-Institute de Recherche pour le Développement, 29280 Plouzané, France;

Plastics are persistent synthetic polymers that accumulate as waste in the marine environment. Microplastic (MP) particles are derived from the breakdown of larger debris or can enter the environment as microscopic fragments. Because filter-feeder organisms ingest MP while feeding, they are likely to be impacted by MP pollution. To assess the impact of polystyrene microspheres (micro-PS) on the physiology of the Pacific oyster, adult oysters were experimentally exposed to virgin micro-PS (2 and 6 µm in diameter; 0.023 mg·L(-1)) for 2 mo during a reproductive cycle. Effects were investigated on ecophysiological parameters; cellular, transcriptomic, and proteomic responses; fecundity; and offspring development. Oysters preferentially ingested the 6-µm micro-PS over the 2-µm-diameter particles. Consumption of microalgae and absorption efficiency were significantly higher in exposed oysters, suggesting compensatory and physical effects on both digestive parameters. After 2 mo, exposed oysters had significant decreases in oocyte number (-38%), diameter (-5%), and sperm velocity (-23%). The D-larval yield and larval development of offspring derived from exposed parents decreased by 41% and 18%, respectively, compared with control offspring. Dynamic energy budget modeling, supported by transcriptomic profiles, suggested a significant shift of energy allocation from reproduction to structural growth, and elevated maintenance costs in exposed oysters, which is thought to be caused by interference with energy uptake. Molecular signatures of endocrine disruption were also revealed, but no endocrine disruptors were found in the biological samples. This study provides evidence that micro-PS cause feeding modifications and reproductive disruption in oysters, with significant impacts on offspring.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1519019113DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4780615PMC
March 2016

Disruption of amylase genes by RNA interference affects reproduction in the Pacific oyster Crassostrea gigas.

J Exp Biol 2015 Jun 16;218(Pt 11):1740-7. Epub 2015 Apr 16.

Institut Universitaire Européen de la Mer, Université de Bretagne Occidentale, UMR 6539 CNRS/UBO/IRD/Ifremer, Laboratoire des Sciences de l'Environnement Marin, Plouzané 29280, France.

Feeding strategies and digestive capacities can have important implications for variation in energetic pathways associated with ecological and economically important traits, such as growth or reproduction in bivalve species. Here, we investigated the role of amylase in the digestive processes of Crassostrea gigas, using in vivo RNA interference. This approach also allowed us to investigate the relationship between energy intake by feeding and gametogenesis in oysters. Double-stranded (ds)RNA designed to target the two α-amylase genes A and B was injected in vivo into the visceral mass of oysters at two doses. These treatments caused significant reductions in mean mRNA levels of the amylase genes: -50.7% and -59% mRNA A, and -71.9% and -70.6% mRNA B in 15 and 75 µg dsRNA-injected oysters, respectively, relative to controls. Interestingly, reproductive knock-down phenotypes were observed for both sexes at 48 days post-injection, with a significant reduction of the gonad area (-22.5% relative to controls) and germ cell under-proliferation revealed by histology. In response to the higher dose of dsRNA, we also observed reductions in amylase activity (-53%) and absorption efficiency (-5%). Based on these data, dynamic energy budget modeling showed that the limitation of energy intake by feeding that was induced by injection of amylase dsRNA was insufficient to affect gonadic development at the level observed in the present study. This finding suggests that other driving mechanisms, such as endogenous hormonal modulation, might significantly change energy allocation to reproduction, and increase the maintenance rate in oysters in response to dsRNA injection.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1242/jeb.116699DOI Listing
June 2015

A microarray-based analysis of gametogenesis in two Portuguese populations of the European clam Ruditapes decussatus.

PLoS One 2014 18;9(3):e92202. Epub 2014 Mar 18.

IFREMER, UMR CNRS 6539, Laboratoire des Sciences de l'Environnement Marin, Plouzané, France.

The European clam, Ruditapes decussatus is a species with a high commercial importance in Portugal and other Southern European countries. Its production is almost exclusively based on natural recruitment, which is subject to high annual fluctuations. Increased knowledge of the natural reproductive cycle of R. decussatus and its molecular mechanisms would be particularly important in providing new highly valuable genomic information for better understanding the regulation of reproduction in this economically important aquaculture species. In this study, the transcriptomic bases of R. decussatus reproduction have been analysed using a custom oligonucleotide microarray representing 51,678 assembled contigs. Microarray analyses were performed in four gonadal maturation stages from two different Portuguese wild populations, characterized by different responses to spawning induction when used as progenitors in hatchery. A comparison between the two populations elucidated a specific pathway involved in the recognition signals and binding between the oocyte and components of the sperm plasma membrane. We suggest that this pathway can explain part of the differences in terms of spawning induction success between the two populations. In addition, sexes and reproductive stages were compared and a correlation between mRNA levels and gonadal area was investigated. The lists of differentially expressed genes revealed that sex explains most of the variance in gonadal gene expression. Additionally, genes like Foxl2, vitellogenin, condensing 2, mitotic apparatus protein p62, Cep57, sperm associated antigens 6, 16 and 17, motile sperm domain containing protein 2, sperm surface protein Sp17, sperm flagellar proteins 1 and 2 and dpy-30, were identified as being correlated with the gonad area and therefore supposedly with the number and/or the size of the gametes produced.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0092202PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3958495PMC
December 2014

Contrasted survival under field or controlled conditions displays associations between mRNA levels of candidate genes and response to OsHV-1 infection in the Pacific oyster Crassostrea gigas.

Mar Genomics 2014 Jun 26;15:95-102. Epub 2014 Feb 26.

Ifremer, UMR 6539, Laboratoire des Sciences de l'Environnement Marin, ZI de la Pointe du Diable, CS 10070, 29280 Plouzané, France. Electronic address:

Pacific oyster Crassostrea gigas suffers from chronic or sporadic mortality outbreaks worldwide, resulting from infectious diseases and/or physiological disorders triggered by environmental factors. Since 2008, ostreid herpesvirus OsHV-1 μVar has been identified as the main agent responsible for mass mortality of juvenile oysters in Europe. Previous studies of genome-wide expression profiling have provided candidate genes that potentially contribute to genetically-based resistance to summer mortality. To assess their value in determining resistance to the juvenile mass mortality that has occurred in France since 2008, we analyzed the expression of 17 candidate genes in an experimental infection by OsHV-1 μVar, and in an in vivo field experiment. Individual quantification of mRNA levels of 10 out of the 17 targeted genes revealed significant variation, of which 7 genes were showed differences between conditions that created significant differences in mortality, and 6 depended on the number of OsHV-1 genome copies individually quantified in mantle tissue. Complex SOD metalloenzymes known to be part of the antioxidant defense strategies may at least partly determine susceptibility or resistance to OsHV-1-associated mortality. Furthermore, inhibitor 2 of NF-κB, termed CgIκB2, exhibited highly significant variation of mRNA levels depending on OsHV-1 load in both experiments, suggesting its implication in the antiviral immune response of C. gigas. Our results suggest that CgIκB2 expression would make a good starting point for further functional research and that it could be used in marker-assisted selection.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.margen.2014.02.002DOI Listing
June 2014

Sex-specific regulation of AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) in the Pacific oyster Crassostrea gigas.

Biol Reprod 2013 Oct 31;89(4):100. Epub 2013 Oct 31.

Ifremer, Laboratoire des Sciences de l'Environnement Marin (UMR 6539, LEMAR), Plouzané, France.

The hermaphrodite Pacific oyster Crassostrea gigas displays a high energy allocation to reproduction. We studied the expression of AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) during gametogenesis in the gonad and characterized the mRNA sequences of the AMPK subunits: the AMPK alpha mRNA sequence was previously characterized; we identified AMPK beta, AMPK gamma, and mRNAs of putative AMPK-related targets following bioinformatics mining on existing genomic resources. We analyzed the mRNA expression of the AMPK alpha, beta, and gamma subunits in the gonads of male and female oysters through a reproductive cycle, and we quantified the mRNA expression of genes belonging to fatty acid and glucose metabolism. AMPK alpha mRNA levels were more abundant in males at the first stage of gametogenesis, when mitotic activity and the differentiation of germinal cells occur, and were always more abundant in males than in females. Some targets of fatty acid and glucose metabolism appeared to be correlated with the expression of AMPK subunits at the mRNA level. We then analyzed the sex-specific AMPK activity by measuring the phosphorylation of the catalytic AMPK alpha protein and its expression at the protein level. Both the amount of AMPK alpha protein and threonine 172 phosphorylation appeared to be almost totally inhibited in mature female gonads at stage 3, at the time when accumulation of reserves in oocytes was promoted, while it remained at a high level in mature spermatozoa. Its activation might play a sex-dependent role in the management of energy during gametogenesis in oyster.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1095/biolreprod.113.109728DOI Listing
October 2013

Regulation of a truncated isoform of AMP-activated protein kinase α (AMPKα) in response to hypoxia in the muscle of Pacific oyster Crassostrea gigas.

J Comp Physiol B 2013 Jul 25;183(5):597-611. Epub 2013 Jan 25.

Ifremer, UMR 6539 LEMAR, Centre Bretagne Z.I. Pointe du Diable, 29280, Plouzané, France.

AMP-activated protein kinase α (AMPKα) is a key regulator of energy balance in many model species during hypoxia. In a marine bivalve, the Pacific oyster Crassostrea gigas, we analyzed the protein content of adductor muscle in response to hypoxia during 6 h. In both smooth and striated muscles, the amount of full-length AMP-activated protein kinase α (AMPKα) remained unchanged during hypoxia. However, hypoxia induced a rapid and muscle-specific response concerning truncated isoforms of AMPKα. In the smooth muscle, a truncated isoform of AMPKα was increased from 1 to 6 h of hypoxia, and was linked with accumulation of AKT kinase, a key enzyme of the insulin signaling pathway which controls intracellular glucose metabolism. In this muscle, aerobic metabolism was maintained over the 6 h of hypoxia, as mitochondrial citrate synthase activity remained constant. In contrast, in striated muscle, hypoxia did not induce any significant modification of neither truncated AMPKα nor AKT protein content, and citrate synthase activity was altered after 6 h of hypoxia. Together, our results demonstrate that hypoxia response is specific to muscle type in Pacific oyster, and that truncated AMPKα and AKT proteins might be involved in maintaining aerobic metabolism in smooth muscle. Such regulation might occur in vivo during tidal intervals that cause up to 6 h of hypoxia.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00360-013-0743-6DOI Listing
July 2013

Study of the antioxidant capacity in gills of the Pacific oyster Crassostrea gigas in link with its reproductive investment.

Comp Biochem Physiol C Toxicol Pharmacol 2013 Jan 13;157(1):63-71. Epub 2012 Oct 13.

Laboratoire des Sciences de l'Environnement Marin, Institut Universitaire Européen de la Mer, Université de Bretagne Occidentale, UMR CNRS/UBO/IRD/IFREMER, Plouzané, France.

Energy allocation principle is a core element of life-history theory in which "the cost of reproduction" corresponds to an acceleration of senescence caused by an increase in reproductive investment. In the "theory of aging", senescence is mainly due to the degradation of lipids, proteins and DNA by reactive oxygen species (ROS), by-products of oxidative metabolism. Some studies have shown that oxidative stress susceptibility could be a cost of reproduction. The present study investigates the effect of reproductive investment on antioxidant capacity in the gills of a species with a very high reproductive investment, the Pacific oyster Crassostrea gigas. We used RNA interference targeting the oyster vasa-like gene (Oyvlg) to produce oysters with contrasted reproductive investment. Antioxidant capacity was studied by measuring the mRNA levels of genes encoding major antioxidant enzymes, and the activity of these enzymes. The highest reproductive investment was associated with the highest transcript levels for glutathione peroxidase and extra-cellular and mitochondrial superoxide dismutase. In contrast, lipid peroxidation did not show any sign of oxidative damage whatever the reproductive investment. Up-regulation of certain genes encoding enzymes involved in the first step of ROS detoxification could therefore be a part of the organism's strategy for managing the pro-oxidant species produced by heavy reproductive investment.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cbpc.2012.10.004DOI Listing
January 2013

In vivo RNA interference of a gonad-specific transforming growth factor-β in the Pacific oyster Crassostrea gigas.

Mar Biotechnol (NY) 2012 Aug 7;14(4):402-10. Epub 2011 Dec 7.

IFREMER, UMR Physiologie et Ecophysiologie des Mollusques Marins, Technopole Brest-Iroise, BP70, 292800, Plouzané, France.

We investigated the role of oyster gonadal TGFβ (og-TGFβ) in the reproduction of Crassostrea gigas, using an in vivo RNA interference approach. We designed double-stranded RNA targeting og-TGFβ, which is specifically expressed in the somatic cells surrounding germ cells in the gonad of both male and female oysters. In vivo injection of this og-TGFβ dsRNA into the gonad led to knock-down phenotypes for both sexes, with significant reduction (77.52% relative to controls) of the gonad area, lowered reproductive effort and germ cell under-proliferation. Interestingly, half of the injected females halted their vitellogenesis, since we were only able to observe pre-vitellogenic oocytes. In addition, apoptotic germ cells and haemocytes infiltrated into the gonad, likely as part of the active resorption of degenerating germ cells. Conversely, males showed a normal phenotype at the cellular level, with spermatids and spermatozoids observed in the gonads of control and injected males. As a result, og-TGFβ appears to play an essential role in C. gigas germ cell development by functioning as an activator of germ cell proliferation in both male and female oysters and vitellogenesis in females.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10126-011-9421-4DOI Listing
August 2012

In vivo RNA interference in oyster--vasa silencing inhibits germ cell development.

FEBS J 2009 May 24;276(9):2566-73. Epub 2009 Mar 24.

UMR 100 PE2M Ifremer-Université de Caen, Ifremer centre de Brest, B.P.70, Plouzané, France.

This study investigated the potential of RNA interference, which is technically challenging in bivalve mollusc species, to assess gene function in the oyster Crassostrea gigas. We designed dsRNA targeting the oyster vasa-like gene (Oyvlg), specifically expressed in oyster germ cells. In vivo injection of oyvl-dsRNA into the gonad provokes a knockdown phenotype corresponding to germ cell underproliferation and prematurely arrested meiosis througout the organ. The most severe phenotype observed is sterile. This knockdown phenotype is associated with a decrease in Oyvlg mRNA level of between 39% and 87%, and a strong reduction in OYVLG protein, to an undetectable level. Therefore, Oyvlg appears to be essential for germ cell development in Crassostrea gigas, particularly for mitotic proliferation and early meiosis. Our results demonstrate for the first time that in vivo RNA interference works efficiently in a bivalve species, opening major perspectives for functional genetic studies.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1742-4658.2009.06982.xDOI Listing
May 2009