Identification of NF-κB related genes in channel catfish and their expression profiles in mucosal tissues after columnaris bacterial infection

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Interactions of NF-κB family, IκB family and IKK complex are the key components of NF-κB pathway that is essential for many biological processes including innate and adaptive immunity, inflammation and stress responses. In spite of their importance, systematic analysis of these genes in fish has been lacking. Here we report a systematic study of the NF-κB related genes in channel catfish. Five NF-κB family genes, five IκB family genes and three IKK complex genes were identified in the channel catfish genome. Annotation of these 13 NF-κB related genes was further confirmed by phylogenetic and syntenic analysis. Negative selection was found to play a crucial role in the adaptive evolution of these genes. Expression profiles of NF-κB related genes after Flavobacterium columnare (columnaris) infection were determined by analysis of the existing RNA-Seq dataset. The majority of NF-κB related genes were significantly regulated in mucosal tissues of gill, skin and intestine after columnaris infection, indicating their potential involvement in host defense responses. Distinct expression patterns of NF-κB related genes were observed in susceptible and resistant catfish in response to columnaris infection, suggesting that expression of these genes may contribute to the variations in disease resistance/susceptibility of catfish.

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