Comparative transcriptome analysis reveals the gene expression profiling in bighead carp (Aristichthys nobilis) in response to acute nitrite toxicity

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Objective:Nitrite exposure induces growth inhibition, metabolic disturbance, oxidative stress, organic damage, and infection-mediated mortality of aquatic organism. This study aimed to investigate the mechanism in responses to acute nitrite toxicity in bighead carp (Aristichthys nobilis, A. nobilis) by RNA-seq analysis.Methods:Bighead carps were exposed to water with high nitrite content (48.63mg/L) for 72h, and fish livers and gills were separated for RNA-seq analysis. De novo assembly was performed, and differentially expressed genes (DEGs) between control and nitrite-exposed fishes were identified. Furthermore, enrichment analysis was performed for DEGs to annotate the molecular functions.Results:A total of 406,135 transcripts and 352,730 unigenes were tagged after de novo assembly. Accordingly, 4108 and 928 DEGs were respectively identified in gill and liver in responses to nitrite exposure. Most of these DEGs were up-regulated DEGs. Enrichment analysis showed these DEGs were mainly associated with immune responses and nitrogen metabolism.Conclusions:We suggested that the nitrite toxicity-induced DEGs were probably related to dysregulation of nitrogen metabolism and immune responses in A. nobilis, particularly in gill.HIGHLIGHTSNitrite exposure caused DEGs in bighead carp gill and liver.DEGs in gill and liver responded to nitrite stress were associated with immune response.Nitrite exposure-induced pathomechanism associated with immune responses and infections.Gills of bighead carp are more susceptible to nitrite stress than liver.

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