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Diet-dependent gene expression highlights the importance of Cytochrome P450 in detoxification of algal secondary metabolites in a marine isopod

Journal article
Authors Pierre De Wit
Keith Yamada
Marina Panova
Carl André
Kerstin Johannesson
Published in Scientific Reports
Volume 8
Pages 16824
ISSN 2045-2322
Publication year 2018
Published at Department of marine sciences
Pages 16824
Language en
Keywords Idotea balthica, gene expression, detoxification, secondary metabolites
Subject categories Bioinformatics and Systems Biology, Evolutionary Biology, Genetics, Cell Biology


Isopods of the genus Idotea have an unusual ability to feed on algae containing high amounts of chemical defense molecules, such as species of the genera Fucus and Ulva. In this study, we compared gene expression patterns of Idotea balthica individuals fed with Fucus vesiculosus to individuals fed with Ulva lactuca. We generated the rst-ever transcriptome assembly for this species, and found 3,233 di erentially expressed genes across feeding regimes. However, only a handful of biological functions were enriched with regard to di erentially expressed genes, the most notable being “alkaloid metabolic process”. Within this category, we found eight di erentially expressed cytochrome P450 (CYP) unigenes, all of which had a higher expression in the U. lactuca diet treatment. A phylogenetic analysis showed that the di erentially expressed CYP genes are closely related to a CYP gene described from the hepatopancreas of the spiny lobster Panulirus argus, and we hypothesize that these transcripts are involved in metabolite detoxi cation. This is a rst step in the understanding of this algae-grazer interaction, and will form a basis for future work to characterize cytochrome P450 functioning in marine crustaceans.

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