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Gene expression profiling of trout muscle during flesh quality recovery following spawning

  • Ahongo, Yéléhi-Diane1
  • Le Cam, Aurélie1
  • Montfort, Jérôme1
  • Bugeon, Jérôme1
  • Lefèvre, Florence1
  • Rescan, Pierre-Yves1
  • 1 INRAE, UR 1037, LPGP Fish Physiology and Genomics, Campus de Beaulieu, Rennes, F-35042, France , Rennes (France)
Published Article
BMC Genomics
Springer (Biomed Central Ltd.)
Publication Date
Jan 04, 2022
DOI: 10.1186/s12864-021-08228-3
Springer Nature
  • Research


Background Sexual maturation causes loss of fish muscle mass and deterioration of fillet quality attributes that prevent market success. We recently showed that fillet yield and flesh quality recover in female trout after spawning. To gain insight into the molecular mechanisms regulating flesh quality recovery, we used an Agilent-based microarray platform to conduct a large-scale time course analysis of gene expression in female trout white muscle from spawning to 33 weeks post-spawning.ResultsIn sharp contrast to the situation at spawning, muscle transcriptome of female trout at 33 weeks after spawning was highly similar to that of female trout of the same cohort that did not spawn, which is consistent with the post-spawning flesh quality recovery. Large-scale time course analysis of gene expression in trout muscle during flesh quality recovery following spawning led to the identification of approximately 3340 unique differentially expressed genes that segregated into four major clusters with distinct temporal expression profiles and functional categories. The first cluster contained approximately 1350 genes with high expression at spawning and downregulation after spawning and was enriched with genes linked to mitochondrial ATP synthesis, fatty acid catabolism and proteolysis. A second cluster of approximately 540 genes with transient upregulation 2 to 8 weeks after spawning was enriched with genes involved in transcription, RNA processing, translation, ribosome biogenesis and protein folding. A third cluster containing approximately 300 genes upregulated 4 to 13 weeks after spawning was enriched with genes encoding ribosomal subunits or regulating protein folding. Finally, a fourth cluster that contained approximately 940 genes with upregulation 8 to 24 weeks after spawning, was dominated by genes encoding myofibrillar proteins and extracellular matrix components and genes involved in glycolysis.ConclusionOverall, our study indicates that white muscle tissue restoration and flesh quality recovery after spawning are associated with transcriptional changes promoting anaerobic ATP production, muscle fibre hypertrophic growth and extracellular matrix remodelling. The generation of the first database of genes associated with post-spawning muscle recovery may provide insights into the molecular and cellular mechanisms controlling muscle yield and fillet quality in fish and provide a useful list of potential genetic markers for these traits.

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