Rapid expansion of pigmentation genes in penaeid shrimp with absolute preservation of function

Budd, Alyssa M., Hinton, Tracey M., Tonks, Mark, Cheers, Sue, and Wade, Nicholas M. (2017) Rapid expansion of pigmentation genes in penaeid shrimp with absolute preservation of function. The Journal of Experimental Biology, 220. pp. 4109-4118.

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Crustaceans form their distinct patterns and colours through the interaction of the carotenoid astaxanthin with a protein called crustacyanin (CRCN). Presently, the expression of just two CRCN genes is thought to provide the protein subunits that combine to form the crustacyanin complex and associated carotenoid colour change from red to blue. This study aimed to explore the genetic complexity underlying the production of pigmentation and camouflage in penaeid shrimp. We isolated 35 new CRCN genes from 12 species, and their sequence analysis indicated that this gene family has undergone significant expansion and diversification in this lineage. Despite this duplication and sequence divergence, the structure of the CRCN proteins and their functional role in shrimp colour production has been strictly conserved. Using CRCN isoforms from Penaeus monodon as an example, we showed that isoforms were differentially expressed, and that subtle phenotypes were produced by the specific downregulation of individual isoforms. These findings demonstrate that our knowledge of the molecular basis of pigmentation in shrimp was overly simplistic, and suggests that multiple copies of the CRCN genes within species may be advantageous for colour production. This result is of interest for the origin and evolution of pigmentation in crustaceans, and the mechanisms by which gene function is maintained, diversified or sub-functionalized.

Item ID: 51725
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 0022-0949
Keywords: colouration, molecular evolution, crustacyanin, crustacean
Funders: DSM Nutritional Products Pty Ltd, CSIRO, Agriculture and food
Date Deposited: 06 Dec 2017 07:41
FoR Codes: 30 AGRICULTURAL, VETERINARY AND FOOD SCIENCES > 3005 Fisheries sciences > 300501 Aquaculture @ 100%
SEO Codes: 83 ANIMAL PRODUCTION AND ANIMAL PRIMARY PRODUCTS > 8301 Fisheries - Aquaculture > 830101 Aquaculture Crustaceans (excl. Rock Lobster and Prawns) @ 100%
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