Transcriptomic Profiling of Gametogenesis in Triploid Pacific Oysters Crassostrea gigas: Towards an Understanding of Partial Sterility Associated with Triploidy

Abstract : Background: Triploidy can occur in many animal species but is often lethal. Among invertebrates, amphibians and fishes, triploids are viable although often sterile or infertile. Most triploids of the Pacific oyster Crassostrea gigas are almost sterile (named ''3nb'') yet a low but significant proportion show an advanced gametogenesis (named ''3na''). These oysters thus constitute an interesting model to study the effect of triploidy on germ cell development. We used microarrays to compare the gonad transcriptomes of diploid 2n and the abovementioned triploid 3nb and 3na male and female oysters throughout gametogenesis. Results: All triploids displayed an upregulation of genes related to DNA repair and apoptosis and a downregulation of genes associated with cell division. The comparison of 3na and 3nb transcriptomes with 2n revealed the likely involvement of a cell cycle checkpoint during mitosis in the successful but delayed development of gonads in 3na individuals. In contrast, a disruption of sex differentiation mechanisms may explain the sterility of 3nb individuals with 3nb females expressing male-specific genes and 3nb males expressing female-specific genes. Conclusions: The disruption of sex differentiation and mitosis may be responsible for the impaired gametogenesis of triploid Pacific oysters. The function of the numerous candidate genes identified in our study should now be studied in detail in order to elucidate their role in sex determination, mitosis/meiosis control, pachytene cell cycle checkpoint, and the control of DNA repair/apoptosis.
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Nolwenn M Dheilly, Aude Jouaux, Pierre Boudry, Pascal Favrel, Christophe Lelong. Transcriptomic Profiling of Gametogenesis in Triploid Pacific Oysters Crassostrea gigas: Towards an Understanding of Partial Sterility Associated with Triploidy. PLoS ONE, Public Library of Science, 2014, 9 (11), pp.e112094. ⟨10.1371/journal.pone.0112094⟩. ⟨hal-01345129⟩

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