Differences in brain gene transcription profiles advocate for an important role of cognitive function in upstream migration and water obstacles crossing in European eel

Podgorniak, Tomasz, Milan, Massimo, Pujolar, Jose Marti, Maes, Gregory E., Bargelloni, Luca, De Oliveira, Eric, Pierron, Fabien, and Daverat, Francoise (2015) Differences in brain gene transcription profiles advocate for an important role of cognitive function in upstream migration and water obstacles crossing in European eel. BMC Genomics, 16. 378. pp. 1-10.

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Background: European eel is a panmictic species, whose decline has been recorded since the last 20 years. Among human-induced environmental factors of decline, the impact of water dams during species migration is questioned. The main issue of this study was to pinpoint phenotypic traits that predisposed glass eels to successful passage by water barriers. The approach of the study was individual-centred and without any a priori hypothesis on traits involved in the putative obstacles selective pressure. We analyzed the transcription level of 14,913 genes.

Results: Transcriptome analysis of three tissues (brain, liver and muscle) from individuals sampled on three successive forebays separated by water obstacles indicated different gene transcription profiles in brain between the two upstream forebays. No differences in gene transcription levels were observed in liver and muscle samples among segments. A total of 26 genes were differentially transcribed in brain. These genes encode for, among others, keratins,cytokeratins, calcium binding proteins (S100 family), cofilin, calmodulin, claudin and thy-1 membrane glycoprotein. The functional analysis of these genes highlighted a putative role of cytoskeletal dynamics and synaptic plasticity in fish upstream migration.

Conclusion: Synaptic connections in brain are solicited while eels are climbing the obstacles with poorly designed fishways. Successful passage by such barriers can be related to spatial learning and spatial orientation abilities when fish is out of the water.

Item ID: 38931
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1471-2164
Keywords: transcripomics; European eel; water dams; microarray; synaptic plasticity; fish brain
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© 2015 Podgorniak et al.; licensee BioMed Central.

This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly credited. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver (http://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/) applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.

Funders: Institut National de Recherche en Sciences et Technologies pour l'Environment et l'Agriculture (IRSTEA), French Electric Company (EDF)
Projects and Grants: IRSTEA/EDF HYNES Project
Date Deposited: 01 Jun 2015 23:40
FoR Codes: 07 AGRICULTURAL AND VETERINARY SCIENCES > 0704 Fisheries Sciences > 070405 Fish Physiology and Genetics @ 20%
06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0604 Genetics > 060405 Gene Expression (incl Microarray and other genome-wide approaches) @ 40%
05 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 0502 Environmental Science and Management > 050202 Conservation and Biodiversity @ 40%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9608 Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity > 960807 Fresh, Ground and Surface Water Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity @ 50%
96 ENVIRONMENT > 9606 Environmental and Natural Resource Evaluation > 960699 Environmental and Natural Resource Evaluation not elsewhere classified @ 50%
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