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1.  Selection and validation of a set of reliable reference genes for quantitative RT-PCR studies in the brain of the Cephalopod Mollusc Octopus vulgaris 
BMC Molecular Biology  2009;10:70.
Background
Quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (RT-qPCR) is valuable for studying the molecular events underlying physiological and behavioral phenomena. Normalization of real-time PCR data is critical for a reliable mRNA quantification. Here we identify reference genes to be utilized in RT-qPCR experiments to normalize and monitor the expression of target genes in the brain of the cephalopod mollusc Octopus vulgaris, an invertebrate. Such an approach is novel for this taxon and of advantage in future experiments given the complexity of the behavioral repertoire of this species when compared with its relatively simple neural organization.
Results
We chose 16S, and 18S rRNA, actB, EEF1A, tubA and ubi as candidate reference genes (housekeeping genes, HKG). The expression of 16S and 18S was highly variable and did not meet the requirements of candidate HKG. The expression of the other genes was almost stable and uniform among samples. We analyzed the expression of HKG into two different set of animals using tissues taken from the central nervous system (brain parts) and mantle (here considered as control tissue) by BestKeeper, geNorm and NormFinder. We found that HKG expressions differed considerably with respect to brain area and octopus samples in an HKG-specific manner. However, when the mantle is treated as control tissue and the entire central nervous system is considered, NormFinder revealed tubA and ubi as the most suitable HKG pair. These two genes were utilized to evaluate the relative expression of the genes FoxP, creb, dat and TH in O. vulgaris.
Conclusion
We analyzed the expression profiles of some genes here identified for O. vulgaris by applying RT-qPCR analysis for the first time in cephalopods. We validated candidate reference genes and found the expression of ubi and tubA to be the most appropriate to evaluate the expression of target genes in the brain of different octopuses. Our results also underline the importance of choosing a proper normalization strategy when analyzing gene expression by qPCR taking into appropriate account the experimental setting and variability of the sample of animals (and tissues), thus providing a set of HGK which expression appears to be unaffected by the experimental factor(s).
doi:10.1186/1471-2199-10-70
PMCID: PMC2722649  PMID: 19602224
2.  Construction of an adult barnacle (Balanus amphitrite) cDNA library and selection of reference genes for quantitative RT-PCR studies 
BMC Molecular Biology  2009;10:62.
Background
Balanus amphitrite is a barnacle commonly used in biofouling research. Although many aspects of its biology have been elucidated, the lack of genetic information is impeding a molecular understanding of its life cycle. As part of a wider multidisciplinary approach to reveal the biogenic cues influencing barnacle settlement and metamorphosis, we have sequenced and annotated the first cDNA library for B. amphitrite. We also present a systematic validation of potential reference genes for normalization of quantitative real-time PCR (qRT-PCR) data obtained from different developmental stages of this animal.
Results
We generated a cDNA library containing expressed sequence tags (ESTs) from adult B. amphitrite. A total of 609 unique sequences (comprising 79 assembled clusters and 530 singlets) were derived from 905 reliable unidirectionally sequenced ESTs. Bioinformatics tools such as BLAST, HMMer and InterPro were employed to allow functional annotation of the ESTs. Based on these analyses, we selected 11 genes to study their ability to normalize qRT-PCR data. Total RNA extracted from 7 developmental stages was reverse transcribed and the expression stability of the selected genes was compared using geNorm, BestKeeper and NormFinder. These software programs produced highly comparable results, with the most stable gene being mt-cyb, while tuba, tubb and cp1 were clearly unsuitable for data normalization.
Conclusion
The collection of B. amphitrite ESTs and their annotation has been made publically available representing an important resource for both basic and applied research on this species. We developed a qRT-PCR assay to determine the most reliable reference genes. Transcripts encoding cytochrome b and NADH dehydrogenase subunit 1 were expressed most stably, although other genes also performed well and could prove useful to normalize gene expression studies.
doi:10.1186/1471-2199-10-62
PMCID: PMC2713238  PMID: 19552808

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