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Characterizing a Toxin- and a Non-Toxin-Producing Strain of Gambierdiscus balechii Using Comparative Transcriptomics

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Characterizing a Toxin- and a Non-Toxin-Producing Strain of Gambierdiscus balechii Using Comparative Transcriptomics
Many benthic dinoflagellates of the genus Gambierdiscus are capable of producing ciguatoxins (CTXs) with polyether structures, which can be potentially bio-accumulated, bio-transformed and bio-magnified in marine food chains. Humans consuming coral reef fishes that have accumulated CTXs from ingested algal food sources might suffer from ciguatera fish poisoning. Understanding the molecular mechanism that regulates the production of the toxin is crucial for understanding the environmental triggers of the toxin and for informed fisheries management. Here we used transcriptome sequencing (RNA-Seq) and suppression subtractive hybridization (SSH) to compare a ciguatoxin-producing strain with a non-toxic strain of Gambierdiscus balechii. RNA-Seq and bioinformatics yielded 114,314 unigenes. Among them, 84,642 (19.61% in total) genes showed differential expression between the two strains. Transcripts encoding single domain proteins with similarity to type I polyketide synthase (PKS) were found in the differentially expressed gene dataset as well as type I PKS transcripts encoding multiple domains. Differential expression patterns of these transcripts were further analyzed. Furthermore, SSH also revealed differentially expressed genes between the two strains. These data suggest that polyketide synthase might contribute to polyketide synthesis and potentially CTXs synthesis in this dinoflagellate species. The dataset will also be a valuable genomic resource for research on the genus of Gambierdiscus.

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TitleCharacterizing a Toxin- and a Non-Toxin-Producing Strain of Gambierdiscus balechii Using Comparative Transcriptomics
Date23/02/192/03/19