DAO 104:249-256 (2013)  -  DOI: https://doi.org/10.3354/dao02603

Expression of galaxin and oncogene homologs in growth anomaly in the coral Montipora capitata

Narrissa P. Spies1,*, Misaki Takabayashi2

1Tropical Conservation Biology & Environmental Science and 2Marine Science Department, University of Hawaii at Hilo, 200 W. Kawili St., Hilo, Hawaii 96720, USA

ABSTRACT: Growth anomaly (GA) is a coral disease characterized by enlarged skeletal lesions. Although negative effects of GA on several of coral?s biological functions have been determined, the etiology and molecular pathology of this disease is very poorly understood. We studied the expression of 5 genes suspected to play a role in pathological development of GA in the endemic Hawaiian coral Montipora capitata, which is particularly susceptible to this disease. Transcript abundances of the 5 target genes in healthy tissue, GA-affected tissue, and unaffected tissue (apparently healthy tissue adjacent to GA) relative to 3 internal control genes (actin, NADH, and rpS3) were compared using quantitative reverse transcriptase PCR. Galaxin, which codes for a protein suspected to be involved in calcification and thus hypothesized to be differentially expressed in GA, was up-regulated in unaffected tissue but remained at baseline levels in GA tissue. The gene expressions of murine double minute 2 (MDM2) and tumor necrosis factor (TNF) remained unchanged in GA tissue. The expression of tyrosine protein kinase (TPK) and βγ-crystallin (BGC) were both down-regulated. These expression patterns were all inconsistent with the expression patterns of homologous genes in neoplastic diseases featuring similar morphological symptoms in humans. These expression data therefore suggest that the calcification mechanism is likely not enhanced in coral GA and that coral GA is not a malignant neoplasia.


KEY WORDS: Coral · Montipora capitata · Growth anomaly · Neoplasia


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Cite this article as: Spies NP, Takabayashi M (2013) Expression of galaxin and oncogene homologs in growth anomaly in the coral Montipora capitata. Dis Aquat Org 104:249-256. https://doi.org/10.3354/dao02603

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