We evaluated the expression profiles of turbot in the spleen, liver, and head kidney across five temporal points of the Aeromonas salmonicida infection process using an 8 × 15 K Agilent oligo-microarray. The microarray included 2,176 different fivefold replicated gene probes designed from a turbot 3' sequenced EST database. We were able to identify 471 differentially expressed (DE) genes (17.3% of the whole microarray), 223 in the spleen, 246 in the liver, and 125 in the head kidney, in at least one of the five temporal points sampled for each organ. Most of these genes could be annotated (83.0%) and functionally categorized using Gene Ontology terms (69.1%) after the additional sequencing of DE genes from the 5' end. Many DE genes were related to innate and acquired immune functions in accordance to previous studies with this pathogen in other fish species. A high proportion of DE genes were organ specific (77.1%), but their associated GO functions were rather similar in the three organs. The most striking difference in functional distribution was observed between the up- and down-regulated gene groups. Up-regulated genes were mostly associated to key immune functions while down-regulated ones mainly involved metabolism- and transport-related genes. Genetic response appeared clustered in groups of genes with similar expression profiles along the temporal series. The spleen showed the most clustering while the liver and head kidney displayed a higher diversification. The information obtained will aid to understand the turbot immune response and will specifically be valuable to develop strategies of defense to A. salmonicida to achieve more resistant broodstocks for turbot industry.
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