Líffræðifélag Íslands - biologia.is
Líffræðiráðstefnan 2019

Erindi/veggspjald / Talk/poster V54

Differential expression of transcription factors between Arctic charr morphs

Höfundar / Authors: Lea Jerman Plesec (1), Alexander Guðjónsson (1), Sébastien Matlosz (1), Jóhannes Guðbrandsson (1,2), Arnar Pálsson (1), Sigríður Rut Franzdóttir (1), Zophonías O. Jónsson (1)

Starfsvettvangur / Affiliations: 1. Institute of Life and Environmental Sciences, University of Iceland, Reykjavík, Iceland, 2. Freshwater Division, Marine and Freshwater Research Institute, Reykjavík, Iceland

Kynnir / Presenter: Lea Jerman Plesec

Identification of regulatory networks that differ between recently evolved species or populations and the responsible regulatory factors, can add to the understanding of how natural selection acts on genetic and developmental programs that influence variation in adaptive traits. Lake Þingvallavatn in Iceland is home to four sympatric ecomorphs of Arctic charr (Salvelinus alpinus), the small benthivorous (SB), large benthivorous (LB), planktivorous (PL) and piscivorous (PI) charr. This is reflected in differences in multiple traits, including shape, size and feeding morphology. The objective of this work is to cast light on the divergence of morphs and the role of developmental gene expression and its regulators in these processes. Transcriptome data from the laboratory showed that hundreds of genes were differentially expressed between the morphs during early developmental stages. To investigate potential regulators of these differentially expressed genes, we studied gene coexpression clusters, locations of putative transcription factor binding sites in promoters of co-expressed genes, and screened for transcription factors (TF) that might be involved. Among those TFs, 12 were found to be differentially expressed in the developmental transcriptome. To confirm and further describe the differential gene expression of those 12 TFs, a qPCR analysis was performed on newly extracted samples from multiple developmental stages. Preliminary results show that some of the TFs, are indeed differentially expressed between morphs. These results will be discussed in the light of genetic and developmental divergence of these sympatric morphs.