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Open Access Research article

Microarray-based analysis of fish egg quality after natural or controlled ovulation

Emilie Bonnet, Alexis Fostier and Julien Bobe*

Author Affiliations

INRA, UR1037 SCRIBE, IFR140, Ouest-Genopole, 35000 Rennes, France

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BMC Genomics 2007, 8:55  doi:10.1186/1471-2164-8-55

Published: 21 February 2007

Abstract

Background

The preservation of fish egg quality after ovulation-control protocols is a major issue for the development of specific biotechnological processes (e.g. nuclear transfer). Depending on the species, it is often necessary to control the timing of ovulation or induce the ovulatory process. The hormonal or photoperiodic control of ovulation can induce specific egg quality defects that have been thoroughly studied. In contrast, the impact on the egg transcriptome as a result of these manipulations has received far less attention. Furthermore, the relationship between the mRNA abundance of maternally-inherited mRNAs and the developmental potential of the egg has never benefited from genome-wide studies. Thus, the present study aimed at studying the rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) egg transcriptome after natural or controlled ovulation using 9152-cDNA microarrays.

Results

The analysis of egg transcriptome after natural or controlled ovulation led to the identification of 26 genes. The expression patterns of 17 of those genes were monitored by real-time PCR. We observed that the control of ovulation by both hormonal induction and photoperiod manipulation induced significant changes in the egg mRNA abundance of specific genes. A dramatic increase of Apolipoprotein C1 (APOC1) and tyrosine protein kinase HCK was observed in the eggs when a hormonal induction of ovulation was performed. In addition, both microarray and real-time PCR analyses showed that prohibitin 2 (PHB2) egg mRNA abundance was negatively correlated with developmental success.

Conclusion

First, we showed, for the first time in fish, that the control of ovulation using either a hormonal induction or a manipulated photoperiod can induce differences in the egg mRNA abundance of specific genes. While the impact of these modifications on subsequent embryonic development is unknown, our observations clearly show that the egg transcriptome is affected by an artificial induction of ovulation.

Second, we showed that the egg mRNA abundance of prohibitin 2 was reflective of the developmental potential of the egg.

Finally, the identity and ontology of identified genes provided significant hints that could result in a better understanding of the mechanisms associated with each type of ovulation control (i.e. hormonal, photoperiodic), and in the identification of conserved mechanisms triggering the loss of egg developmental potential.