DAO 66:175-180 (2005)  -  doi:10.3354/dao066175

Upregulation of actin-like gene expression in giant freshwater prawns Macrobrachium rosenbergii infected with Metschnikowia bicuspidata*

Hung-Yi Su1, Pei-Chi Wang2, Yi-Yang Lien2, Ming-An Tsai2, Shyh-Shyan Liu2, Kun-Chan Wu1, Cheng-Hung Hsieh1, Shih-Chu Chen2,**

1Institute of Biotechnology, and 2Department of Veterinary Medicine, National Pingtung University of Science and Technology, Pingtung 91201, Taiwan, ROC
*-The nucleotide sequence data reported in this paper has been submitted to GenBank and has been assigned accession number AY651918
**Corresponding author. Email: scchen@npust.edu.tw

ABSTRACT: The giant freshwater prawn Macrobrachium rosenbergii is commercially cultured throughout the world including Taiwan. From 1992 to 1995, Taiwanese production decreased by approximately 50% due to disease. The yeast Metschnikowia bicuspidata is considered to be one of the major causes of white muscle disease, but the molecular mechanism of its pathogenesis is not known. Using RNA differential display (DD) with muscle and hepatopancreatic tissue, we identified a 324 nucleotide (nt) message specifically expressed by M. rosenbergii infected with M. bicuspidata but not in the controls. A ribonuclease protection assay (RPA) confirmed expression in both tissues. RPA data also revealed an additional 230 bp mRNA message that was not identified by DD. Using RNA ligase-mediated rapid amplification of 5’ cDNA ends (5’-RACE), we successfully isolated a 1357 bp full-length gene (c57) that showed 92 and 87% sequence identity to the actin gene of the Kuruma shrimp Marsupenaeus japonicus (also called Penaeus japonicus) (GenBank accession number AB055975) and the beta-actin gene of the white shrimp Litopenaeus vannamei (also called Penaeus vannamei) (GenBank accession number AF300705), respectively. The deduced amino acid sequence of c57 showed 83% sequence similarity to M. japonicus and L. vannamei actin proteins. Based on this high homology, we suggest that upregulation of actin expression in the muscle and hepatopancreas is part of the shrimp response to M. bicuspidata infection. Increased expression may be related to repair of tissues damaged by yeast infection.

KEY WORDS: Macrobrachium rosenbergii · Metschnikowia bicuspidata · Actin

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