Microarray analysis highlights immune response of Pacific oysters as a determinant of resistance to summer mortality

Summer mortality of Crassostrea gigas is the result of a complex interaction between oysters, their environment, and pathogens. A high heritability was estimated for resistance to summer mortality, which provided an opportunity to develop lines of oysters that were resistant (R) or susceptible (S) to summer mortality. Previous genome-wide expression profiling study of R and S oyster gonads highlighted reproduction and antioxidant defense as constitutive pathways that operate differentially between these two lines. Here, we show that signaling in innate immunity also operates differentially between these lines, and we hypothesize that this is at the main determinant of their difference in survival in the field. A reanalysis of our published microarray data using separate ANOVAs at each sampling date revealed a specific "immune" profile at the date preceding the mortality. In addition, we conducted additional microarray profiling of two other tissues, gills, and muscle, and both showed an overrepresentation of immune genes (46%) among those that are differentially expressed between the two lines. Eleven genes were pinpointed to be simultaneously differentially expressed between R and S lines in the three tissues. Among them, ten are related to "Immune Response." For these genes, the kinetics of R mRNA levels between sampling dates appeared different just before the morality peak and suggests that under field conditions, R oysters had the capacity to modulate signaling in innate immunity whereas S oysters did not. This study enhances our understanding of the complex summer mortality syndrome and provides candidates of interest for further functional and genetics studies.


Mollusca, Crassostrea gigas, Gene, Immunity, cDNA microarray, Summer mortality

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Fleury Elodie, Huvet Arnaud (2012). Microarray analysis highlights immune response of Pacific oysters as a determinant of resistance to summer mortality. Marine Biotechnology. 14 (2). 203-217. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10126-011-9403-6, https://archimer.ifremer.fr/doc/00083/19423/

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