Glenn A Cooper

Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, British Columbia, Canada

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Publications (26)74.19 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Arctic charr thrive at high densities and can live in freshwater year round, making this species especially suitable for inland, closed containment aquaculture. However, it is a cold-water salmonid, which both limits where the species can be farmed and places wild populations at particular risk to climate change. Previously, we identified genes associated with tolerance and intolerance to acute, lethal temperature stress in Arctic charr. However, there remained a need to examine the genes involved in the stress response to more realistic temperatures that could be experienced during a summer heat wave in grow-out tanks that are not artificially cooled, or under natural conditions. Here, we exposed Arctic charr to sublethal heat stress of 15-18°C for 72 h, and gill tissues extracted before, during (i.e., at 72 h), immediately after cooling and after 72 h of recovery at ambient temperature (6°C) were used for gene expression profiling by microarray and qPCR analyses. The results revealed an expected pattern for heat shock protein expression, which was highest during heat exposure, with significantly reduced expression (approaching control levels) quickly thereafter. We also found that the expression of numerous ribosomal proteins was significantly elevated immediately and 72 h after cooling, suggesting that the gill tissues were undergoing ribosome biogenesis while recovering from damage caused by heat stress. We suggest that these are candidate gene targets for the future development of genetic markers for broodstock development or for monitoring temperature stress and recovery in wild or cultured conditions.
    Physiological Genomics 07/2011; 43(18):1056-64. · 2.81 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Arctic charr is an especially attractive aquaculture species given that it features the desirable tissue traits of other salmonids and is bred and grown at inland freshwater tank farms year round. It is of interest to develop upper temperature tolerant (UTT) strains of Arctic charr to increase the robustness of the species in the face of climate change and to enable production in more southern regions. We used a genomics approach that takes advantage of the well-studied Atlantic salmon genome to identify genes that are associated with UTT in Arctic charr. Specifically, we conducted an acute temperature trial to identify temperature tolerant and intolerant Arctic charr individuals, which were subject to microarray and qPCR analysis to identify candidate UTT genes. These were compared with genes annotated in a quantitative trait locus (QTL) region that was previously identified as associated with UTT in rainbow trout and Arctic charr and that we sequenced in Atlantic salmon. Our results suggest that small heat shock proteins as well as HSP-90 genes are associated with UTT. Furthermore, hemoglobin expression was significantly downregulated in tolerant compared with intolerant fish. Finally, QTL analysis and expression profiling identified COUP-TFII as a candidate UTT gene, although its specific role is unclear given the identification of two transcripts, which appear to have different expression patterns. Our results highlight the importance of using more than one approach to identify candidate genes, particularly when examining a complicated trait such as UTT in a highly complex genome for which there is no reference genome.
    Physiological Genomics 04/2011; 43(11):685-96. · 2.81 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The ability of rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) to respond successfully to infection by viral hemorrhagic septicaemia virus (VHSV) is expected to involve a large number of biochemical processes. We hypothesized that this would be reflected at the gene expression level in infected fish, and we tested it by examining gene expression levels in the head kidney of trout at a genome-wide scale with a 16K cDNA microarray for salmonids. Expression levels were recorded during 16 days following bath challenge. The challenge experiment included a relatively low susceptibility (32% survival following challenge) and a relatively high susceptibility (18% survival following challenge) trout family that were both split into a group exposed to virus and a non-exposed control group. In total, 939 genes were differentially expressed between infected and non-infected fish (FDR p=0.05). Five groups of Gene Ontology categories were involved in immune-related processes and over-represented in infected fish: (i) stress and defense response, (ii) NFkappaB signal transduction, (iii) response to non-self, (iv) antigen processing and presentation, and (v) proteasome complexes. The first four categories were also over-represented among the 642 differentially expressed genes in the low-susceptibility trout family but not among the 556 differentially expressed genes in the high-susceptibility trout family. Expression profiles for most immune genes discussed showed increased transcription from day 3 post-challenge. The results suggest that the innate immune system may play an important role in the successful response to VHSV in rainbow trout. In addition, the results indicate that a superior regulation of the transcription of several key innate immune-related genes contribute to the increased survival in resistant fish.
    Molecular Immunology 02/2011; 48(8):1046-58. · 2.65 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The phylogenetic relationships among the three subfamilies (Salmoninae, Coregoninae and Thymallinae) in the Salmonidae have not been addressed extensively at the molecular level. In this study, the whole mitochondrial genomes of two Thymallinae species, Thymallus arcticus and Thymallus thymallus were sequenced, and the published mitochondrial genome sequences of other salmonids were used for Bayesian and maximum-likelihood phylogenetic analyses. These results support an ancestral Coregoninae, branching within the Salmonidae, with Thymallinae as the sister group to Salmoninae.
    Journal of Fish Biology 02/2010; 76(2):395-400. · 1.83 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar) immunoglobulin heavy chain (IgH) locus possesses two parallel IgH isoloci (IGH-A and IGH-B), that are related to the genomic duplication event in the family Salmonidae. These duplicated IgH loci in Atlantic salmon provide a unique opportunity to examine the mechanisms of genome diversity and genome evolution of the IgH loci in vertebrates. In this study, we defined the structure of these loci in Atlantic salmon, and sequenced 24 bacterial artificial chromosome (BAC) clones that were assembled into the IGH-A (1.1 Mb) and IGH-B (0.9 Mb) loci. In addition, over 7,000 cDNA clones from the IgH variable (VH) region have been sequenced and analyzed. The present study shows that the genomic organization of the duplicated IgH loci in Atlantic salmon differs from that in other teleosts and other vertebrates. The loci possess multiple Cτ genes upstream of the Cμ region, with three of the Cτ genes being functional. Moreover, the duplicated loci possess over 300 VH segments which could be classified into 18 families. This is the largest number of VH families currently defined in any vertebrate. There were significant structural differences between the two loci, indicating that both IGH-A and -B loci have evolved independently in the short time after the recent genome duplication approximately 60 mya. Our results indicate that the duplication of the IgH loci in Atlantic salmon significantly contributes to the increased diversity of the antibody repertoire, as compared with the single IgH locus in other vertebrates.
    BMC Genomics 01/2010; 11:486. · 4.40 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Two decades after the introduction of oil-based vaccines in the control of bacterial and viral diseases in farmed salmonids, the mechanisms of induced side effects manifested as intra-abdominal granulomas remain unresolved. Side effects have been associated with generation of auto-antibodies and autoimmunity but the underlying profile of inflammatory and immune response has not been characterized. This study was undertaken with the aim to elucidate the inflammatory and immune mechanisms of granuloma formation at gene expression level associated with high and low side effect (granuloma) indices.Groups of Atlantic salmon parr were injected intraperitoneally with oil-adjuvanted vaccines containing either high or low concentrations of Aeromonas salmonicida or Moritella viscosa antigens in order to induce polarized (severe and mild) granulomatous reactions. The established granulomatous reactions were confirmed by gross and histological methods at 3 months post vaccination when responses were known to have matured. The corresponding gene expression patterns in the head kidneys were profiled using salmonid cDNA microarrays followed by validation by real-time quantitative PCR (qPCR). qPCR was also used to examine the expression of additional genes known to be important in the adaptive immune response. Granulomatous lesions were observed in all vaccinated fish. The presence of severe granulomas was associated with a profile of up-regulation of innate immunity-related genes such as complement factors C1q and C6, mannose binding protein, lysozyme C, C-type lectin receptor, CD209, Cathepsin D, CD63, LECT-2, CC chemokine and metallothionein. In addition, TGF-beta (p = 0.001), IL-17A (p = 0.007) and its receptor (IL-17AR) (p = 0.009) representing TH17 were significantly up-regulated in the group with severe granulomas as were arginase and IgM. None of the genes directly reflective of T(H)1 T cell lineage (IFN-gamma, CD4) or T(H)2 (GATA-3) responses were differentially expressed. Granulomatous reactions following vaccination with oil-based vaccines in Atlantic salmon have the profile of strong expression of genes related to innate immune responses. The expression of TGF-beta, IL-17A and its receptor suggests an involvement of T(H)17 T cell lineage and is in conformity with strong infiltration of neutrophils and macrophages into inflamed areas. Arginase upregulation shows that macrophages in these reactions are alternatively activated, indicating also a T(H)2-profile. To what extent the expression of IL-17A and its receptor reflects an autoimmune vaccine-based reaction remains elusive but would be in conformity with previous observations of autoimmune reactions in salmon when vaccinated with oil-based vaccines.
    BMC Genomics 01/2010; 11:336. · 4.40 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Salmonids are one of the most intensely studied fish, in part due to their economic and environmental importance, and in part due to a recent whole genome duplication in the common ancestor of salmonids. This duplication greatly impacts species diversification, functional specialization, and adaptation. Extensive new genomic resources have recently become available for Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar), but documentation of allelic versus duplicate reference genes remains a major uncertainty in the complete characterization of its genome and its evolution. From existing expressed sequence tag (EST) resources and three new full-length cDNA libraries, 9,057 reference quality full-length gene insert clones were identified for Atlantic salmon. A further 1,365 reference full-length clones were annotated from 29,221 northern pike (Esox lucius) ESTs. Pairwise dN/dS comparisons within each of 408 sets of duplicated salmon genes using northern pike as a diploid out-group show asymmetric relaxation of selection on salmon duplicates. 9,057 full-length reference genes were characterized in S. salar and can be used to identify alleles and gene family members. Comparisons of duplicated genes show that while purifying selection is the predominant force acting on both duplicates, consistent with retention of functionality in both copies, some relaxation of pressure on gene duplicates can be identified. In addition, there is evidence that evolution has acted asymmetrically on paralogs, allowing one of the pair to diverge at a faster rate.
    BMC Genomics 01/2010; 11:279. · 4.40 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The spermatogonia of fish can be classified as being either undifferentiated type A spermatogonia or differentiated type B spermatogonia. Although type A spermatogonia, which contain spermatogonial stem cells, have been demonstrated to be a suitable material for germ cell transplantation, no molecular markers for distinguishing between type A and type B spermatogonia in fish have been developed to date. We therefore sought to develop a molecular marker for type A spermatogonia in rainbow trout. Using GFP-dependent flow cytometry (FCM), enriched fractions of type A and type B spermatogonia, testicular somatic cells, and primordial germ cells were prepared from rainbow trout possessing the green fluorescent protein (GFP) gene driven by trout vasa regulatory regions (pvasa-GFP rainbow trout). The gene-expression profiles of each cell fraction were then compared with a microarray containing cDNAs representing 16,006 genes from several salmonid species. Genes exhibiting high expression for type A spermatogonia relative to above-mentioned other types of gonadal cells were identified and subjected to RT-PCR and quatitative PCR analysis. Since only the rainbow trout notch1 homologue showed significantly high expression in the type A spermatogonia-enriched fraction, we propose that notch1 may be a useful molecular marker for type A spermatogonia. The combination of GFP-dependent FCM and microarray analysis of pvasa-GFP rainbow trout can therefore be applied to the identification of potentially useful molecular markers of germ cells in fish.
    Molecular Reproduction and Development 03/2009; 76(3):246-54. · 2.81 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Background: Salmonids are of interest because of their relatively recent genome duplication, and their extensive use in wild fisheries and aquaculture. A comprehensive gene list and a comparison of genes in some of the different species provide valuable genomic information for one of the most widely studied groups of fish. Results: 298,304 expressed sequence tags (ESTs) from Atlantic salmon (69% of the total), 11,664 chinook, 10,813 sockeye, 10,051 brook trout, 10,975 grayling, 8,630 lake whitefish, and 3,624 northern pike ESTs were obtained in this study and have been deposited into the public databases. Contigs were built and putative full-length Atlantic salmon clones have been identified. A database containing ESTs, assemblies, consensus sequences, open reading frames, gene predictions and putative annotation is available. The overall similarity between Atlantic salmon ESTs and those of rainbow trout, chinook, sockeye, brook trout, grayling, lake whitefish, northern pike and rainbow smelt is 93.4, 94.2, 94.6, 94.4, 92.5, 91.7, 89.6, and 86.2% respectively. An analysis of 78 transcript sets show Salmo as a sister group to Oncorhynchus and Salvelinus within Salmoninae, and Thymallinae as a sister group to Salmoninae and Coregoninae within Salmonidae. Extensive gene duplication is consistent with a genome duplication in the common ancestor of salmonids. Using all of the available EST data, a new expanded salmonid cDNA microarray of 32,000 features was created. Cross-species hybridizations to this cDNA microarray indicate that this resource will be useful for studies of all 68 salmonid species. Conclusion: An extensive collection and analysis of salmonid RNA putative transcripts indicate that Pacific salmon, Atlantic salmon and charr are 94-96% similar while the more distant whitefish, grayling, pike and smelt are 93, 92, 89 and 86% similar to salmon. The salmonid transcriptome reveals a complex history of gene duplication that is consistent with an ancestral salmonid genome duplication hypothesis. Genome resources, including a new 32 K microarray, provide valuable new tools to study salmonids.
    BMC Genomics 12/2008; · 4.40 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Nuclear deoxyribonucleic acid sequences from approximately 15,000 salmon louse expressed sequence tags (ESTs), the complete mitochondrial genome (16,148bp) of salmon louse, and 16S ribosomal ribonucleic acid (rRNA) and cytochrome oxidase subunit I (COI) genes from 68 salmon lice collected from Japan, Alaska, and western Canada support a Pacific lineage of Lepeophtheirus salmonis that is distinct from that occurring in the Atlantic Ocean. On average, nuclear genes are 3.2% different, the complete mitochondrial genome is 7.1% different, and 16S rRNA and COI genes are 4.2% and 6.1% different, respectively. Reduced genetic diversity within the Pacific form of L. salmonis is consistent with an introduction into the Pacific from the Atlantic Ocean. The level of divergence is consistent with the hypothesis that the Pacific form of L. salmonis coevolved with Pacific salmon (Onchorhynchus spp.) and the Atlantic form coevolved with Atlantic salmonids (Salmo spp.) independently for the last 2.5-11 million years. The level of genetic divergence coincides with the opportunity for migration of fish between the Atlantic and Pacific Ocean basins via the Arctic Ocean with the opening of the Bering Strait, approximately 5 million years ago. The genetic differences may help explain apparent differences in pathogenicity and environmental sensitivity documented for the Atlantic and Pacific forms of L. salmonis.
    Marine Biotechnology 07/2008; 10(6):741-9. · 3.15 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Salmonids are the most widely studied group of fish, and in the last few years, genomics technologies have begun to contribute to this rich biology. The first salmonid microarrays appeared in 2004 and since then several dozen studies have demonstrated the utility of genomic approaches. The widespread use of the genomics research on Atlantic salmon project 16 k array and greatly expanded genome resources have led to the development of an experimental 5 k oligo (70-mer) array and a 32 k cDNA microarray in the near future. In this paper, the authors examined some of the procedures used in the development of past arrays and reexamined them in light of new genomic data available. Some preliminary control experiments of the new 5 k array were investigated that examine oligo designs based on distance from the polyA tail, the effects of mismatches and cross-species hybridization specificity. Beneficial approaches are also identified in the development of the new 32 k cDNA array.
    Journal of Fish Biology 06/2008; 72(9):2051 - 2070. · 1.83 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Several important cultured marine fish are highly susceptible to an ectoparasitic condition known as amoebic gill disease (AGD). In AGD-affected fish, modulation of IL-1beta, p53 and p53-regulated transcripts is restricted to the (multi)focal AGD-associated gill lesions. To determine whether this lesion-restricted modulation of transcripts occurs on a transcriptome-wide scale and to identify mechanisms that underpin the susceptibility of fish to AGD, we compared the transcriptome of AGD lesions with "normal" tissue from AGD-affected and healthy individuals. Global gene expression profiling using a 16K salmonid microarray, revealed a total of 176 significantly regulated annotated features and of those, the modulation of 99 (56%) was lesion-restricted. Annotated transcripts were classified according to functional gene ontology. Within the immune response category, transcripts were almost universally down-regulated. In AGD-affected tissue, significant, coordinated down-regulation of the major histocompatibility complex class I (MHC I) pathway-related genes occurred during the later stages of infection and appeared to be mediated by down-regulation of interferon-regulatory factor (IRF)-1, independent of interferon-alpha, interferon-gamma and IRF-2 expression. Within this micro-environment, suppression of the MHC I and possibly the MHC II pathways may inhibit the development of acquired immunity and could explain the unusually high susceptibility of Atlantic salmon to AGD.
    Molecular Immunology 06/2008; 45(9):2581-97. · 2.65 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Genomic resources in rainbow smelt (Osmerus mordax) enable us to examine the genome duplication process in salmonids and test hypotheses relating to the fate of duplicated genes. They further enable us to pursue physiological and ecological studies in smelt. A bacterial artificial chromosome library containing 52,410 clones with an average insert size of 146 kb was constructed. This library represents an 11-fold average coverage of the rainbow smelt (O. mordax) genome. In addition, several complementary deoxyribonucleic acid libraries were constructed, and 36,758 sequences were obtained and combined into 12,159 transcripts. Over half of these transcripts have been identified, several of which have been associated with cold adaptation. These basic resources show high levels of similarity (86%) to salmonid genes and provide initial support for genome duplication in the salmonid ancestor. They also facilitate identification of genes important to fish and direct us toward new technologies for other studies in fish biology.
    Marine Biotechnology 05/2008; 10(5):487-91. · 3.15 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar) T-cell receptor gamma (TCRgamma) gene has extensive diversity in its capacity for antigen recognition due to the V-J-C gene segments recombinational possibilities, and N-region diversity. This is the first report completely characterizing and annotating a TCRgamma gene locus in teleosts. We identified two different TCRgamma loci in Atlantic salmon. The first locus, TCRgamma 1, spans 260 kbp and contains four tandemly repeated clusters each of which consists of 1-4 variable (V) segments, 1-2 sets of a joining (J) segment and a constant (C) region. In total, 10 V segments, 5 J segments and 5 C regions were found in locus 1. In the second locus, TCRgamma 2, a single non-expressed V-J-C cluster was found. Surprisingly, the Atlantic salmon TCRgamma loci have a larger number of C regions relative to other teleosts, mouse and human. In addition, each Atlantic salmon TCRgamma C region has a different connecting peptide region that may result in distinct cellular responses. Expression data confirm the diverse repertoire found at the genomic level. At least 6 out of 7 functional V segments, all 5 J segments and all 5 C regions found in TCRgamma 1 were identified in TCRgamma transcription analysis. The identification and characterization of the functional TCRgamma 1 along with the associated TCR alpha/delta locus suggest that Atlantic salmon have a functional gammadelta T-cell immune component.
    Molecular Immunology 05/2008; 45(8):2150-7. · 2.65 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Diesel spills are all too frequent disturbances of freshwater ecosystems, largely as a result of the quantities transported and consumed. Assessing the risk that such events may pose to aquatic life remains a difficult process, because of the complexity of this hydrocarbon mixture and our limited knowledge of its toxicity. A diesel spike experiment with rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) fry was carried out to fill this knowledge gap. Survival, growth, and gene expression changes were assessed and toxicity thresholds were determined. Whereas the biological end points were consistent in the determination of (sub)lethal doses, microarrays supplied additional information on the mechanism of toxicity (oxygen deprivation) and potential long-term effects (feminization, immune system alterations) of diesel exposure on salmonids. Hemoglobins, prostaglandins, cytochromes, and gluthathion-S-transferases were among the molecular biomarkers proposed for use in future risk assessments based on microarray results. By bridging traditional toxicity testing with recent microarray technologies, this study shows the potential of genomics tools in ecotoxicity studies as well as industrial applications, including risk assessment, in the near future.
    Environmental Science and Technology 04/2008; 42(7):2656-62. · 5.48 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Trout normally spawn at 3 years of age, however, a small percentage mature a year early. This provides an opportunity to study reproductive timing and developmental processes. The ovarian and testicular extracellular matrix (ECM) participates in processes such as growth, adhesion, differentiation, cell migration and patterning. The composition of the ECM defines the interactions of specific regulatory ligands with their receptors and modulates and regulates gonadal function. To identify some of the genes involved in these processes, a 16,006-gene salmonid cDNA microarray was used to compare three-year-old normal with two-year-old normal (maturing) and with two-year-old precocious (pre-spawn) ovarian and testicular transcriptomes. We provide evidence for differences in expression of some of the genes during vasculogenesis, angiogenesis, fibrillogenesis and other processes involving ECM remodeling. Sex-specific gene expression differences of ECM components were documented between the trout ovary and testis in each developmental state. Significant differences in the expression of genes involved in translation, transcription, cell-cycling and differentiation were identified. We also report, for the first time, unequivocal evidence for the transcription of high levels of adult and embryonic hemoglobins in the developed ovary; and for the expression of transcripts that encode zona pellucida glycoproteins in both the ovary and testis of trout.
    Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology Part D Genomics and Proteomics 03/2008; 3(1):78-90. · 2.88 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The complete TCR alpha/delta locus of Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar) has been characterized and annotated. In the 900 kb TCR alpha/delta locus, 292 Valpha/delta segments and 123 Jalpha/delta segments were identified. Of these, 128 Valpha/delta, 113 Jalpha, and a Jdelta segment appeared to be functional as they lacked frame shifts or stop codons. This represents the largest repertoire of Valpha/delta and Jalpha segments of any organism to date. The 128 functional Valpha/delta segments could be grouped into 29 subgroups based upon 70% nucleotide similarity. Expression data confirmed the usage of the diverse repertoire found at the genomic level. At least 99 Valpha, 13 Vdelta 86 Jalpha, 1 Jdelta, and 2 Ddelta segments were used in TCR alpha or delta transcription, and 652 unique genes were identified from a sample of 759 TCRalpha cDNA clones. Cumulatively, the genomic and expression data suggest that the Atlantic salmon T-cell receptor has enormous capacity to recognize a wide diversity of antigens.
    Developmental & Comparative Immunology 02/2008; 32(3):204-12. · 3.24 Impact Factor
  • Aquaculture Genome Technologies, 11/2007: pages 369 - 412; , ISBN: 9780470277560
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    ABSTRACT: As more salmon gene expression data has become available, the cDNA microarray platform has emerged as an appealing alternative in ecotoxicological screening of single chemicals and environmental samples relevant to the aquatic environment. This study was performed to validate biomarker gene responses of in vitro cultured rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) hepatocytes exposed to model chemicals, and to investigate effects of mixture toxicity in a synthetic mixture. Chemicals used for 24h single chemical- and mixture exposures were 10 nM 17alpha-ethinylestradiol (EE2), 0.75 nM 2,3,7,8-tetrachloro-di-benzodioxin (TCDD), 100 microM paraquat (PQ) and 0.75 microM 4-nitroquinoline-1-oxide (NQO). RNA was isolated from exposed cells, DNAse treated and quality controlled before cDNA synthesis, fluorescent labelling and hybridisation to a 16k salmonid microarray. The salmonid 16k cDNA array identified differential gene expression predictive of exposure, which could be verified by quantitative real time PCR. More precisely, the responses of biomarker genes such as cytochrome p4501A and UDP-glucuronosyl transferase to TCDD exposure, glutathione reductase and gammaglutamyl cysteine synthetase to paraquat exposure, as well as vitellogenin and vitelline envelope protein to EE2 exposure validated the use of microarray applied to RNA extracted from in vitro exposed hepatocytes. The mutagenic compound NQO did not result in any change in gene expression. Results from exposure to a synthetic mixture of the same four chemicals, using identical concentrations as for single chemical exposures, revealed combined effects that were not predicted by results for individual chemicals alone. In general, the response of exposure to this mixture led to an average loss of approximately 60% of the transcriptomic signature found for single chemical exposure. The present findings show that microarray analyses may contribute to our mechanistic understanding of single contaminant mode of action as well as mixture effects, but that its use in screening of complex environmental samples will need to be further evaluated.
    Aquatic Toxicology 04/2007; 81(3):293-303. · 3.51 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We have previously identified associations between major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class I and resistance towards bacterial and viral pathogens in Atlantic salmon. To evaluate if only MHC or also closely linked genes contributed to the observed resistance we ventured into sequencing of the duplicated MHC class I regions of Atlantic salmon. Nine BACs covering more than 500 kb of the two duplicated MHC class I regions of Atlantic salmon were sequenced and the gene organizations characterized. Both regions contained the proteasome components PSMB8, PSMB9, PSMB9-like and PSMB10 in addition to the transporter for antigen processing TAP2, as well as genes for KIFC1, ZBTB22, DAXX, TAPBP, BRD2, COL11A2, RXRB and SLC39A7. The IA region contained the recently reported MHC class I Sasa-ULA locus residing approximately 50 kb upstream of the major Sasa-UBA locus. The duplicated class IB region contained an MHC class I locus resembling the rainbow trout UCA locus, but although transcribed it was a pseudogene. No other MHC class I-like genes were detected in the two duplicated regions. Two allelic BACs spanning the UBA locus had 99.2% identity over 125 kb, while the IA region showed 82.5% identity over 136 kb to the IB region. The Atlantic salmon IB region had an insert of 220 kb in comparison to the IA region containing three chitin synthase genes. We have characterized the gene organization of more than 500 kb of the two duplicated MHC class I regions in Atlantic salmon. Although Atlantic salmon and rainbow trout are closely related, the gene organization of their IB region has undergone extensive gene rearrangements. The Atlantic salmon has only one class I UCA pseudogene in the IB region while trout contains the four MHC UCA, UDA, UEA and UFA class I loci. The large differences in gene content and most likely function of the salmon and trout class IB region clearly argues that sequencing of salmon will not necessarily provide information relevant for trout and vice versa.
    BMC Genomics 02/2007; 8:251. · 4.40 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

625 Citations
74.19 Total Impact Points


  • 2011
    • Simon Fraser University
      • Department of Molecular Biology and Biochemistry
      Burnaby, British Columbia, Canada
  • 2003–2010
    • University of Victoria
      • • Centre for Biomedical Research (CBR)
      • • Department of Biology
      Victoria, British Columbia, Canada
  • 2007
    • Norwegian School of Veterinary Science
      • Department of Basic Sciences and Aquatic Medicine
      Oslo, Oslo, Norway
    • Auburn University
      Auburn, Alabama, United States