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Study of gene expression patterns in Eurasian perch (Perca fluviatilis Linnaeus, 1758) eggs related to their quality and to the domestication process

Abstract : In the aquaculture context, increase on production are expected for the next years and yet, many reproductive issues are reported, including high mortality during early life stages. It concerns mostly species for which the domestication process is at the very beginning. My PhD work aimed at better understanding and potentially helping improving reproductive performance by investigating eggs the transcriptomic content of the Eurasian perch (Perca fluviatilis) eggs in association with their quality which may constitute one of the sources for embryonic mortality. Eurasian perch is a species, in process of domestication, with strong importance for aquaculture diversification in inland Europe. We employed microarray and RT-qPCR analyses to characterize gene expression patterns of Eurasian perch eggs presenting different potential to develop properly after fertilization. The experiments were conducted in two scientific contexts. In the first one, different methods to access egg quality were employed and their potential impacts on the transcriptomic results were evaluated. Therefore, when eggs were classified into the respective quality groups (high or low) using early embryonic survival as criteria, we were always able to identify distinct patterns of gene expression between quality groups. However, the number and nature of the differentially expressed genes (DEG) were variable and only one gene was commonly differentially expressed no matter the methods employed. This shows how transcriptomic results are sensitive to methods and should be deeply considered for intra- and inter-species comparisons. The second context consisted of investigating whether females presenting different histories of domestication would differ in their eggs mRNA content, and how it affects egg quality. In this study, females closest to wild populations presented better egg quality. In addition, two distinct patterns of gene expression were observed and more than 300 DEG were identified between populations. Because not much is known about the causes of high variability in reproductive performance in species in process of domestication, this finds could open new hypothesis of investigation. Finally, it became important to determine the moment until which the gene identified in the previous approaches were exclusively supporting embryonic early development. With this purpose, a preliminary study allowed making a first evaluation of the zygotic genome activation (ZGA) in this species. As a whole, this study identified numerous maternal-effect genes which implication in embryos early development should be further investigated. In addition, these results suggest that more comparable methods to investigate egg quality in Eurasian perch could be established. These methods will make possible more precise studies in the variation of the development success under the influence of distinc factors, such the domestication process. Similar methods could also be established in other species considering their own common or divergent characters. It would help understanding molecular mechanisms species specific or widely found in finfish species.
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Submitted on : Thursday, April 30, 2020 - 10:57:42 AM
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  • HAL Id : tel-02559138, version 1

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Taina Rocha de Almeida. Study of gene expression patterns in Eurasian perch (Perca fluviatilis Linnaeus, 1758) eggs related to their quality and to the domestication process. Agronomy. Université de Lorraine, 2019. English. ⟨NNT : 2019LORR0288⟩. ⟨tel-02559138⟩

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