A thorough annotation of the krill transcriptome offers new insights for the study of physiological processes

Bettina.Meyer [ at ] awi.de


The krill species Euphausia superba plays a critical role in the food chain of the Antarctic ecosystem. Significant changes in climate conditions observed in the Antarctic Peninsula region in the last decades have already altered the distribution of krill and its reproductive dynamics. A deeper understanding of the adaptation capabilities of this species is urgently needed. The availability of a large body of RNA-seq assays allowed us to extend the current knowledge of the krill transcriptome. Our study covered the entire developmental process providing information of central relevance for ecological studies. Here we identified a series of genes involved in different steps of the krill moulting cycle, in the reproductive process and in sexual maturation in accordance with what was already described in previous works. Furthermore, the new transcriptome highlighted the presence of differentially expressed genes previously unknown, playing important roles in cuticle development as well as in energy storage during the krill life cycle. The discovery of new opsin sequences, specifically rhabdomeric opsins, one onychopsin, and one non-visual arthropsin, expands our knowledge of the krill opsin repertoire. We have collected all these results into the KrillDB2 database, a resource combining the latest annotation of the krill transcriptome with a series of analyses targeting genes relevant to krill physiology. KrillDB2 provides in a single resource a comprehensive catalog of krill genes; an atlas of their expression profiles over all RNA-seq datasets publicly available; a study of differential expression across multiple conditions. Finally, it provides initial indications about the expression of microRNA precursors, whose contribution to krill physiology has never been reported before.

Item Type
Primary Division
Primary Topic
Helmholtz Cross Cutting Activity (2021-2027)
Publication Status
Eprint ID
DOI 10.1038/s41598-022-15320-5

Cite as
Urso, I. , Biscontin, A. , Bertolucci, C. , Romualdi, C. , De Pitta, C. , Meyer, B. and Sales, G. (2022): A thorough annotation of the krill transcriptome offers new insights for the study of physiological processes , Scientific reports, 12 (1), p. 11415 . doi: 10.1038/s41598-022-15320-5

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