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  • Open Access English
    Authors: 
    Marlien Schaeck; W. De Spiegelaere; J. De Craene; W. Van den Broeck; B. De Spiegeleer; Christian Burvenich; Freddy Haesebrouck; Annemie Decostere;
    Publisher: Nature Publishing Group
    Country: Belgium

    The increasing demand for a sustainable larviculture has promoted research regarding environmental parameters, diseases and nutrition, intersecting at the mucosal surface of the gastrointestinal tract of fish larvae. The combination of laser capture microdissection (LCM) and gene expression experiments allows cell specific expression profiling. This study aimed at optimizing an LCM protocol for intestinal tissue of sea bass larvae. Furthermore, a 3'/5' integrity assay was developed for LCM samples of fish tissue, comprising low RNA concentrations. Furthermore, reliable reference genes for performing qPCR in larval sea bass gene expression studies were identified, as data normalization is critical in gene expression experiments using RT-qPCR. We demonstrate that a careful optimization of the LCM procedure allows recovery of high quality mRNA from defined cell populations in complex intestinal tissues. According to the geNorm and Normfinder algorithms, ef1a, rpl13a, rps18 and faua were the most stable genes to be implemented as reference genes for an appropriate normalization of intestinal tissue from sea bass across a range of experimental settings. The methodology developed here, offers a rapid and valuable approach to characterize cells/tissues in the intestinal tissue of fish larvae and their changes following pathogen exposure, nutritional/environmental changes, probiotic supplementation or a combination thereof.

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