IGF-I, IGF-II and IGF-IR expression as molecular markers for egg quality in mullet and grouper

Bangcaya, Josette Pesayco (2004) IGF-I, IGF-II and IGF-IR expression as molecular markers for egg quality in mullet and grouper. Masters by Research thesis, Queensland University of Technology.


Common measures of egg quality have been survival to specific developmental stages, higher hatching rate of fertilized eggs and final production of fry. Determinants of egg quality are variable among and between teleost species and no common unified criteria have been established. Maternally inherited genes influence egg quality and early embryo development is partially programmed by the messenger ribonucleic acid (mRNA). Among the genes, the insulin family is important for growth functions and the presence of their transcripts in the ovary, oocytes and embryos implies their involvement during the reproductive process and their relevance to egg quality. The insulin-like growth factor (IGF) system has three components, the ligands IGF-I and II, the IGFBPs (insulin-like growth factor binding proteins) and the IGF receptors that mediate biological activity of the ligands. Vitellogenin (Vtg) is the major source of nutrients for the developing embryo and elevated levels in female fish plasma signals gonadal development preceding spawning. In oviparous fish where the developing embryo is dependent on the stored food in the yolk, vitellogenin levels in the egg could indicate its capability to support embryonic growth.

This study aimed to develop molecular tools, specifically probes for IGF-I, IGF-II and IGF-IR, for the evaluation of fish egg quality. These probes would be used to determine expression levels of IGF-I, IGF-II and IGF-IR during egg development to assess their potential as molecular indicators for egg quality. In addition, this study also aimed to establish an enzyme-linked immunoassay (ELISA) for quantifying Vtg in fish eggs and determine if differences in Vtg levels could be linked to fertilization and hatching success.

Through reverse-transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) putative complementary deoxyribonucleic acid (cDNA) fragments of IGF-I, IGF-II and IGF-IR were cloned and sequenced from mullet (Mugil cephalus) and grouper (Epinephelus coioides). The relative expression ratio of the three genes in the eggs of mullet and grouper were assayed by quantitative PCR (QPCR) and calculated using the Pfaffl method (Pfaffl, 2001). Levels of vitellogenin in different batches of mullet eggs were quantified by ELISA.

Spawned eggs of grouper were grouped into low (<60%) or high (>60%) fertilization rate (FR) and the fertilized eggs that were incubated until hatching were grouped into medium (>90%) or high (>90%) hatching rate (HR). Samples were categorized into sinking eggs, late embryo and hatched larvae. Relative expression ratio of IGF-II was significantly high (P<0.01) compared to IGF-I and IGF-IR in all samples examined. All three genes were strongly expressed in sinking eggs compared to either late embryo or hatched larvae. However, there was no significant interaction effect between the genes and the samples analyzed. Mullet samples all came from a high FR and high HR group and were categorized into sinking, multicell stage, blastula, gastrula, late embryo and hatched larvae. There was a significant interaction effect (P<0.01) between gene and stage, showing that genes are differentially expressed during embryonic development. IGF-II was strongly expressed relative to the other genes in all stages examined and was highest during the gastrula stage.

Vtg levels were examined in mullet oocytes and egg samples that were grouped into 4; oocytes from females that subsequently spawned, had fertilized eggs which hatched (Group A); oocytes from females that did not spawn, therefore no fertilization and no hatching (Group B); eggs that were stripped, artificially fertilized but no hatching (Group C); and eggs that were spawned, assumed to be fertilized but did not hatch (Group D). Group A showed a trend of higher Vtg levels than the other three but this result was not statistically significant.

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ID Code: 16003
Item Type: QUT Thesis (Masters by Research)
Supervisor: Anderson, Alexander, Richardson, Neil, & Elizur, Abigail
Keywords: Insulin-like growth factor (IGF)-I, IGF-II, IGF-I Receptor, egg quality, vitellogenin, enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, quantitative polymerase chain reaction, mullet, grouper
Divisions: Past > QUT Faculties & Divisions > Faculty of Science and Technology
Past > Schools > School of Life Sciences
Department: Faculty of Science
Institution: Queensland University of Technology
Copyright Owner: Copyright Josette Pesayco Bangcaya
Deposited On: 03 Dec 2008 03:54
Last Modified: 28 Oct 2011 19:41

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