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Insights in the Size Heterogeneity of Lates calcarifer: Expression of Growth and Immune-related Genes

Insights in the Size Heterogeneity of Lates calcarifer: Expression of Growth and Immune-related Genes

Zhengyi Fu1,2,3,4, Rui Yang1,2,3, Shengjie Zhou1,2,3, Zhenhua Ma1,2,3* and Gang Yu1,2,3*

1Tropical Aquaculture Research and Development Center, South China Sea Fisheries Research Institute, Chinese Academy of Fishery Sciences, Sanya 572018, P.R. China 
2Key Laboratory of South China Sea Fishery Resources Exploitation and Utilization, Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs, Guangzhou, 510300, P.R. China
3Sanya Tropical Fisheries Research Institute, Sanya 572018, P.R. China
4Ocean College, Hainan University, Haikou 570228, PR China

*      Corresponding author:,


Significant size heterogeneity in barramundi Lates calcarifer juveniles has been frequently reported in hatchery practices. Huge variation of mortality in different size grade of juvenile fish has also been observed. In order to explore the effect of size heterogeneity on gene expression level of barramundi juveniles, we graded them according to body length and selected growth-related genes (GHRH, GH, GHR, IGF-I, IGF-II, MSTN-1 and MSTN-2), and immune-related genes (IL8, IL10, TGFβ1, TNF, INF-γ1, Mx, CRP, C3, C4, mTOR, mLST8, eIF4E, HSP70 and HSP90) to measure their relative expression level. Results from the present study indicate that the expression level of GHR, IGF-I and IGF-II is consistent with body length, but there is no similar rule between GHRH, GH, mstn-1 and mstn-2. TOR pathway related genes were more actively expressed in L grade. Heat shock protein has no obvious rule in body length grade. L grade pro-inflammatory cytokines were up-regulated, but anti-inflammatory cytokines were down-regulated and inflammatory markers were up-regulated, indicating an obvious inflammatory response. The expression levels of S and M grade anti-inflammatory and proinflammatory cytokines was more balanced. This study provides the basis for finding the relationship between size heterogeneity and gene expression level of barramundi juveniles, and may provide insights for further understanding on the causes of size heterogeneity.

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Pakistan Journal of Zoology


Vol. 53, Iss. 6, Pages 2001-2521


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