Submitted to: Journal of Fish Biology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: October 26, 2007
Publication Date: June 1, 2008
Citation: Liu, Z., Li, R.W., Waldbieser, G.C. 2008. Utilization of microarray technology for functional genomics in ictalurid catfish. Journal of Fish Biology. 72:2377-2390. Interpretive Summary: The channel catfish, Ictalurus punctatus, and the closely related blue catfish, I. furcatus, are important species in aquaculture and serve as biological models for immunology, neurobiology, and environmental monitoring. This manuscript was written as a review of recent research designed to measure gene expression in catfish tissues under experimental conditions. Microarray technology has been developed so that researchers can simultaneously measure expression of 28,000 catfish genes. The review describes published experiments that focus on immune system responses to pathogen exposure. Understanding the mechanisms and patterns of gene expression will improve our understanding of catfish growth, development, health, and reproduction and will aid breeders in the identification of genetically superior catfish.
Technical Abstract: The channel catfish, Ictalurus punctatus, and the closely related blue catfish, I. furcatus, are important species in aquaculture and serve as biological models for immunology, neurobiology, and environmental monitoring. Directed and high-throughput sequencing technologies have produced 44,767 channel catfish expressed sequence tags (ESTs) and 10,764 blue catfish ESTs to date. Experiments incorporating large scale gene expression analyses have utilized a 660 cDNA macroarray, a 1,900 cDNA spotted microarray, and in situ synthesized oligonucleotide microarrays covering 19,000 and 28,000 genes. These experiments have revealed numerous transcripts that are differentially expressed in response to environmental stressors, immunostimulation, and exposure to viral and bacterial pathogens. A current collaboration with the U.S. Dept. of Energy's Community Sequencing Program will soon provide a much larger resource of ESTs for both catfish species. This will enhance the coverage of the catfish transcriptome and lead to the production of more comprehensive microarrays for future investigations. Functional characterization of the catfish genome will improve our understanding of genetic variation in catfish populations and their responses to environmental variation, and enhance the role of the channel catfish as a model species and source of dietary protein.