Functional and evolutionary implications from the molecular characterization of five spermatophore CHH/MIH/GIH genes in the shrimp Fenneropenaeus merguiensis

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Abstract

The recent use of RNA-Seq to study the transcriptomes of different species has helped identify a large number of new genes from different non-model organisms. In this study, five distinctive transcripts encoding for neuropeptide members of the CHH/MIH/GIH family have been identified from the spermatophore transcriptome of the shrimp Fenneropenaeus merguiensis. The size of these transcripts ranged from 531 bp to 1771 bp. Four transcripts encoded different CHH-family subtype I members, and one transcript encoded a subtype II member. RT-PCR and RACE approaches have confirmed the expression of these genes in males. The low degree of amino acid sequence identity among these neuropeptides suggests that they may have different specific function(s). Results from a phylogenetic tree analysis indicated that these neuropeptides were likely derived from a common ancestor gene resulting from mutation and gene duplication. These CHH-family members could be grouped into distinct clusters, indicating a strong structural/functional relationship among these neuropeptides. Eyestalk removal caused a significant increase in the expression of transcript 32710 but decreases in expression for transcript 28020. These findings suggest the possible regulation of these genes by eyestalk factor(s). In summary, the results of this study would justify a re-evaluation of the more generalized and pleiotropic functions of these neuropeptides. This study also represents the first report on the cloning/identification of five CHH family neuropeptides in a non-neuronal tissue from a single crustacean species.

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Shi, L. L., Li, B., Zhou, T. T., Wang, W., & Chan, S. F. (2018). Functional and evolutionary implications from the molecular characterization of five spermatophore CHH/MIH/GIH genes in the shrimp Fenneropenaeus merguiensis. PLoS ONE, 13(3). https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0193375

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