Transcriptomics of a giant freshwater prawn (Macrobrachium rosenbergii): de novo assembly, annotation and marker discovery

Hyungtaek Jung, Russell E Lyons, Hung Dinh, David A Hurwood, Sean McWilliam, Peter B Mather
PloS One 2011, 6 (12): e27938

BACKGROUND: Giant freshwater prawn (Macrobrachium rosenbergii or GFP), is the most economically important freshwater crustacean species. However, as little is known about its genome, 454 pyrosequencing of cDNA was undertaken to characterise its transcriptome and identify genes important for growth.

METHODOLOGY AND PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: A collection of 787,731 sequence reads (244.37 Mb) obtained from 454 pyrosequencing analysis of cDNA prepared from muscle, ovary and testis tissues taken from 18 adult prawns was assembled into 123,534 expressed sequence tags (ESTs). Of these, 46% of the 8,411 contigs and 19% of 115,123 singletons possessed high similarity to sequences in the GenBank non-redundant database, with most significant (E value < 1e(-5)) contig (80%) and singleton (84%) matches occurring with crustacean and insect sequences. KEGG analysis of the contig open reading frames identified putative members of several biological pathways potentially important for growth. The top InterProScan domains detected included RNA recognition motifs, serine/threonine-protein kinase-like domains, actin-like families, and zinc finger domains. Transcripts derived from genes such as actin, myosin heavy and light chain, tropomyosin and troponin with fundamental roles in muscle development and construction were abundant. Amongst the contigs, 834 single nucleotide polymorphisms, 1198 indels and 658 simple sequence repeats motifs were also identified.

CONCLUSIONS: The M. rosenbergii transcriptome data reported here should provide an invaluable resource for improving our understanding of this species' genome structure and biology. The data will also instruct future functional studies to manipulate or select for genes influencing growth that should find practical applications in aquaculture breeding programs.

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