Keng Po Lai and Jing-Woei Li contributed equally to this work.
Background The marine medaka Oryzias melastigma has been demonstrated as a novel model for marine ecotoxicological studies. However, the lack of genome and transcriptome reference has largely restricted the use of O. melastigma in the assessment of in vivo molecular responses to environmental stresses and the analysis of biological toxicity in the marine environment. Although O. melastigma is believed to be phylogenetically closely related to Oryzias latipes, the divergence between these two species is still largely unknown. Using Illumina high-throughput RNA sequencing followed by de novo assembly and comprehensive gene annotation, we provided transcriptomic resources for the brain, liver, ovary and testis of O. melastigma. We also investigated the possible extent of divergence between O. melastigma and O. latipes at the transcriptome level. Results More than 14,000 transcripts across brain, liver, ovary and testis in marine medaka were annotated, of which 5880 transcripts were orthologous between O. melastigma and O. latipes. Tissue-enriched genes were identified in O. melastigma, and Gene Ontology analysis demonstrated the functional specificity of the annotated genes in respective tissue. Lastly, the identification of marine medaka-enriched transcripts suggested the necessity of generating transcriptome dataset of O. melastigma. Conclusions Orthologous transcripts between O. melastigma and O. latipes, tissue-enriched genes and O. melastigma-enriched transcripts were identified. Genome-wide expression studies of marine medaka require an assembled transcriptome, and this sequencing effort has generated a valuable resource of coding DNA for a non-model species. This transcriptome resource will aid future studies assessing in vivo molecular responses to environmental stresses and those analyzing biological toxicity in the marine environment.
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