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De novo adult transcriptomes of two European brittle stars: spotlight on opsin-based photoreception
Delroisse, J.; Mallefet, J.; Flammang, P. (2016). De novo adult transcriptomes of two European brittle stars: spotlight on opsin-based photoreception. PLoS One 11(4): e0152988.
In: PLoS One. Public Library of Science: San Francisco. ISSN 1932-6203, more
Peer reviewed article  

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    Next generation sequencing (NGS) technology allows to obtain a deeper and more complete view of transcriptomes. For non-model or emerging model marine organisms, NGS technologies offer a great opportunity for rapid access to genetic information. In this study, paired-end Illumina HiSeqTM technology has been employed to analyse transcriptomes from the arm tissues of two European brittle star species, Amphiura filiformis and Ophiopsila aranea. About 48 million Illumina reads were generated and 136,387 total unigenes were predicted from A. filiformis arm tissues. For O. aranea arm tissues, about 47 million reads were generated and 123,324 total unigenes were obtained. Twenty-four percent of the total unigenes from A. filiformis show significant matches with sequences present in reference online databases, whereas, for O. aranea, this percentage amounts to 23%. In both species, around 50% of the predicted annotated unigenes were significantly similar to transcripts from the purple sea urchin, the closest species to date that has undergone complete genome sequencing and annotation. GO, COG and KEGG analyses were performed on predicted brittle star unigenes. We focused our analyses on the phototransduction actors involved in light perception. Firstly, two new echinoderm opsins were identified in O. aranea: one rhabdomeric opsin (homologous to vertebrate melanopsin) and one RGR opsin. The RGR-opsin is supposed to be involved in retinal regeneration while the r-opsin is suspected to play a role in visual-like behaviour. Secondly, potential phototransduction actors were identified in both transcriptomes using the fly (rhabdomeric) and mammal (ciliary) classical phototransduction pathways as references. Finally, the sensitivity of O.aranea to monochromatic light was investigated to complement data available for A. filiformis. The presence of microlens-like structures at the surface of dorsal arm plate of O. aranea could potentially explain phototactic behaviour differences between the two species. The results confirm (i) the ability of these brittle stars to perceive light using opsin-based photoreception, (ii) suggest the co-occurrence of both rhabdomeric and ciliary photoreceptors, and (iii) emphasise the complexity of light perception in this echinoderm class.

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