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1.  MIQE précis: Practical implementation of minimum standard guidelines for fluorescence-based quantitative real-time PCR experiments 
BMC Molecular Biology  2010;11:74.
The conclusions of thousands of peer-reviewed publications rely on data obtained using fluorescence-based quantitative real-time PCR technology. However, the inadequate reporting of experimental detail, combined with the frequent use of flawed protocols is leading to the publication of papers that may not be technically appropriate. We take the view that this problem requires the delineation of a more transparent and comprehensive reporting policy from scientific journals. This editorial aims to provide practical guidance for the incorporation of absolute minimum standards encompassing the key assay parameters for accurate design, documentation and reporting of qPCR experiments (MIQE précis) and guidance on the publication of pure 'reference gene' articles.
PMCID: PMC2955025  PMID: 20858237
2.  Do anesthetics and sampling strategies affect transcription analysis of fish tissues? 
The aim of the current examination was to evaluate if sedation and anesthetic treatment techniques affect the quality of RNA extracted from liver, gill, head kidney and brain tissues in Atlantic salmon Salmo salar L. Blood parameters were measured and tissue specimens sampled in six groups of fish; one control group (0 minutes), two groups kept in pure seawater in 90 liter tanks for 30 and 120 minutes, two groups treated with the anesthetic isoeugenol for 30 and 120 minutes, and one group kept in pure seawater for 105 minutes and then anaesthetized with metacaine for 15 minutes. RNA quality was assessed with the NanoDrop ND-1000 spectrophotometer (260/280 and 260/230 nm ratios) and with the Agilent Bioanalyzer (28S/18S ratio and RIN data) in samples either preserved in liquefied nitrogen (N2) or in RNAlater. In addition, the transcriptional levels of two fast-responding genes were quantified in gill and brain tissues.
The results show that physiological stress during sampling does not affect the quality of RNA extracted from fish specimens. However, prolonged sedation (2 hours) resulted in a metabolic alkalosis that again affected the transcriptional levels of genes involved in ionoregulation and respiration. In gills, Na+-K+-ATPase α1b was significantly downregulated and hypoxia inducible factor 1 (HIF1) significantly upregulated after two hours of treatment with isoeugenol, suggesting that this commonly used sedative affects osmo-regulation and respiration in the fish. The results also suggest that for tissue preservation in general it is better to flash-freeze fish specimens in liquefied N2 than to use RNAlater.
Prolonged sedation may affect the transcription of fast-responding genes in tissues of fish. Two hours of sedation with isoeugenol resulted in downregulation of the Na+-K+-ATPase α1b gene and upregulation of the HIF1 gene in gills of Atlantic salmon. The quality of RNA extracted from tissue specimens, however, was not affected by sedation treatment. Flash-freezing of tissue specimens seems to be the preferred preservation technique, when sampling fish tissue specimens for RNA extraction.
PMCID: PMC1905918  PMID: 17559653
3.  Evaluation of potential reference genes in real-time RT-PCR studies of Atlantic salmon 
Salmonid fishes are among the most widely studied model fish species but reports on systematic evaluation of reference genes in qRT-PCR studies is lacking.
The stability of six potential reference genes was examined in eight tissues of Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar), to determine the most suitable genes to be used in quantitative real-time RT-PCR analyses. The relative transcription levels of genes encoding 18S rRNA, S20 ribosomal protein, β-actin, glyceraldehyde-3P-dehydrogenase (GAPDH), and two paralog genes encoding elongation factor 1A (EF1AA and EF1AB) were quantified in gills, liver, head kidney, spleen, thymus, brain, muscle, and posterior intestine in six untreated adult fish, in addition to a group of individuals that went through smoltification. Based on calculations performed with the geNorm VBA applet, which determines the most stable genes from a set of tested genes in a given cDNA sample, the ranking of the examined genes in adult Atlantic salmon was EF1AB>EF1AA>β-actin>18S rRNA>S20>GAPDH. When the same calculations were done on a total of 24 individuals from four stages in the smoltification process (presmolt, smolt, smoltified seawater and desmoltified freshwater), the gene ranking was EF1AB>EF1AA>S20>β-actin>18S rRNA>GAPDH.
Overall, this work suggests that the EF1AA and EF1AB genes can be useful as reference genes in qRT-PCR examination of gene expression in the Atlantic salmon.
PMCID: PMC1314898  PMID: 16293192

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