Integrated Omics Approaches Revealed the Osmotic Stress-Responsive Genes and Microbiota in Gill of Marine Medaka

Keng Po Lai, Peng Zhu, Delbert Almerick T. Boncan, Lu Yang, Cherry Chi Tim Leung, Jeff Cheuk Hin Ho, Xiao Lin, Ting Fung Chan, Richard Yuen Chong Kong, William Ka Fai Tse

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


Aquatic fishes face osmotic stress continuously, and the gill is the first tissue that senses and responds to the external osmotic challenges. However, the understandings of how the gill microbiota could respond to osmotic stress and their potential host-bacterium relationships are limited. The objectives of the current study are to identify the hypotonic responsive genes in the gill cells and profile the gill microbiota communities after fresh water transfer experiment via transcriptome sequencing and 16S rRNA gene sequencing. Transcriptome sequencing identified 1,034 differentially expressed genes (DEGs), such as aquaporin and sodium potassium chloride cotransporter, after the fresh water transfer. Gene Ontology (GO) and Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes (KEGG) analysis further highlighted the steroid biosynthesis and glycosaminoglycan biosynthesis pathways in the gill. Moreover, the 16S rRNA gene sequencing identified Vibrio as the dominant bacterium in the seawater, which changed to Pseudomonas and Cetobacterium after the fresh water transfer. The alpha diversity analysis suggested that the gill bacterial diversity was lower in the fresh water transferred group. The KEGG and MetaCyc analysis further predicted the alteration of the glycosaminoglycan and chitin metabolisms in the gill bacteria. Collectively, the common glycosaminoglycan and chitin pathways in both the gill cells and gill microbiota suggest the host-bacterium interaction in gill facilitates the fresh water acclimation.

Original languageEnglish
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Genetics
  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Molecular Biology
  • Physiology
  • Biochemistry
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Microbiology
  • Modelling and Simulation


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