The swimming crab Portunus trituberculatus is one of the most commonly farmed crustaceans in China. As one of the most widely known and high-value edible crabs, it crab supports large crab fishery and aquaculture in China. Only large and sexually mature crabs can provide the greatest economic benefits, suggesting the considerable effect of reproductive system development on fishery. Studies are rarely conducted on the molecular regulatory mechanism underlying the development of the reproductive system during the mating embrace stage in this species. In this study, we used high-throughput sequencing to sequence all transcriptomes of the P. trituberculatus reproductive system.
Transcriptome sequencing of the reproductive system produced 81,688,878 raw reads (38,801,152 and 42,887,726 reads from female and male crabs, respectively). Low-quality (quality <20) reads were trimmed and removed, leaving only high-quality reads (37,020,664 and 41,021,030 from female and male crabs, respectively). A total of 126,188 (female) and 164,616 (male) transcripts were then generated by de novo transcriptome assembly using Trinity. Functional annotation of the obtained unigenes revealed that a large number of key genes and some important pathways may participate in cell proliferation and signal transduction. On the basis of our transcriptome analyses and as confirmed by quantitative real-time PCR, a number of genes potentially involved in the regulation of gonadal development and reproduction of P. trituberculatus were identified: ADRA1B, BAP1, ARL3, and TRPA1.
This study is the first to report on the whole reproductive system transcriptome information in stage II of P. trituberculatus gonadal development and provides rich resources for further studies to elucidate the molecular basis of the development of reproductive systems and reproduction in crabs. The current study can be used to further investigate functional genomics in this species.