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Comparative Analysis Of The Intermolt And Postmolt Hepatopancreas Transcriptomes Provides Insight Into The Mechanisms Of Procambarus Clarkii Molting Process

Shengyan Su, Brian Pelekelo Munganga, Can Tian, JianLin Li, Fan Yu, Hongxia Li, Meiyao Wang, Xinjin He, Yongkai Tang

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In the present study, we used RNA-Seq to investigate the expression changes in the transcriptomes of two molting stages (postmolt (M) and intermolt (NM)) of the red swamp crayfish and identified differentially expressed genes. The transcriptomes of the two molting stages were de novo assembled into 139,100 unigenes with a mean length of 675.59 bp. The results were searched against the NCBI, NR, KEGG, Swissprot, and KOG databases, to annotate gene descriptions, associate them with gene ontology terms, and assign them to pathways. Furthermore, using the DESeq R package, differentially expressed genes were evaluated. The analysis revealed that 2347 genes were significantly (p > 0.05) differentially expressed in the two molting stages. Several genes and other factors involved in several molecular events critical for the molting process, such as energy requirements, hormonal regulation, immune response, and exoskeleton formation were identified and evaluated by correlation and KEGG analysis. The expression profiles of transcripts detected via RNA-Seq were validated by real-time PCR assay of eight genes. The information presented here provides a transient view of the hepatopancreas transcripts available in the postmolt and intermolt stage of crayfish, hormonal regulation, immune response, and skeletal-related activities during the postmolt stage and the intermolt stage.