© 2016 Moshtaghi et al. Background. Understanding the genomic basis of osmoregulation (candidate genes and/or molecular mechanisms controlling the phenotype) addresses one of the fundamental questions in evolutionary ecology. Species distributions and adaptive radiations are thought to be controlled by environmental salinity levels, and efficient osmoregulatory (ionic balance) ability is the main mechanism to overcome the problems related to environmental salinity gradients. Methods. To better understand how osmoregulatory performance in freshwater (FW) crustaceans allow individuals to acclimate and adapt to raised salinity conditions, here we (i), reviewed the literature on genes that have been identified to be associated with osmoregulation in FW crustaceans, and (ii), performed a transcriptomic analysis using cDNA libraries developed from mRNA isolated from three important osmoregulatory tissues (gill, antennal gland, hepatopancreas) and total mRNA from post larvae taken from the freshwater prawn, Macrobrachium australiense using Illumina deep sequencing technology. This species was targeted because it can complete its life cycle totally in freshwater but, like many Macrobrachium sp., can also tolerate brackish water conditions and hence should have genes associated with tolerance of bothFWand saline conditions. Results. We obtained between 55.4 and 65.2 million Illumina read pairs from four cDNA libraries. Overall, paired end sequences assembled into a total of 125,196 non-redundant contigs (≥200 bp) with an N50 length of 2,282 bp and an average contig length of 968 bp. Transcriptomic analysis of M. australiense identified 32 different gene families that were potentially involved with osmoregulatory capacity. A total of 32,597 transcripts were specified with gene ontology (GO) terms identified on the basis of GO categories. Abundance estimation of expressed genes based on TPM (transcript per million) ≥20 showed 1625 transcripts commonly expressed in all four libraries. Among the top 10 genes expressed in four tissue libraries associated with osmoregulation, arginine kinase and Na+/K+- ATPase showed the highest transcript copy number with 7098 and 660, respectively in gill which is considered to be the most important organ involved in osmoregulation.
Moshtaghi, A., Rahi, Md. L., Nguyen, V. T., Mather, P. B., & Hurwood, D. A. (2016). A transcriptomic scan for potential candidate genes involved in osmoregulation in an obligate freshwater palaemonid prawn ( Macrobrachium australiense ) . PeerJ, 4, e2520. https://doi.org/10.7717/peerj.2520