Draft de novo transcriptome assembly and proteome characterization of the electric lobe of Tetronarce californica: a molecular tool for the study of cholinergic neurotransmission in the electric organ. Academic Article uri icon


  • BACKGROUND: The electric organ of Tetronarce californica (an electric ray formerly known as Torpedo californica) is a classic preparation for biochemical studies of cholinergic neurotransmission. To broaden the usefulness of this preparation, we have performed a transcriptome assembly of the presynaptic component of the electric organ (the electric lobe). We combined our assembled transcriptome with a previous transcriptome of the postsynaptic electric organ, to define a MetaProteome containing pre- and post-synaptic components of the electric organ. RESULTS: Sequencing yielded 102 million paired-end 100 bp reads. De novo Trinity assembly was performed at Kmer 25 (default) and Kmers 27, 29, and 31. Trinity, generated around 103,000 transcripts, and 78,000 genes per assembly. Assemblies were evaluated based on the number of bases/transcripts assembled, RSEM-EVAL scores and informational content and completeness. We found that different assemblies scored differently according to the evaluation criteria used, and that while each individual assembly contained unique information, much of the assembly information was shared by all assemblies. To generate the presynaptic transcriptome (electric lobe), while capturing all information, assemblies were first clustered and then combined with postsynaptic transcripts (electric organ) downloaded from NCBI. The completness of the resulting clustered predicted MetaProteome was rigorously evaluated by comparing its information against the predicted proteomes from Homo sapiens, Callorhinchus milli, and the Transporter Classification Database (TCDB). CONCLUSIONS: In summary, we obtained a MetaProteome containing 92%, 88.5%, and 66% of the expected set of ultra-conserved sequences (i.e., BUSCOs), expected to be found for Eukaryotes, Metazoa, and Vertebrata, respectively. We cross-annotated the conserved set of proteins shared between the T. californica MetaProteome and the proteomes of H. sapiens and C. milli, using the H. sapiens genome as a reference. This information was used to predict the position in human pathways of the conserved members of the T. californica MetaProteome. We found proteins not detected before in T. californica, corresponding to processes involved in synaptic vesicle biology. Finally, we identified 42 transporter proteins in TCDB that were detected by the T. californica MetaProteome (electric fish) and not selected by a control proteome consisting of the combined proteomes of 12 widely diverse non-electric fishes by Reverse-Blast-Hit Blast. Combined, the information provided here is not only a unique tool for the study of cholinergic neurotransmission, but it is also a starting point for understanding the evolution of early vertebrates.

published proceedings

  • BMC Genomics

altmetric score

  • 0.25

author list (cited authors)

  • Stavrianakou, M., Perez, R., Wu, C., Sachs, M. S., Aramayo, R., & Harlow, M.

citation count

  • 4

complete list of authors

  • Stavrianakou, Maria||Perez, Ricardo||Wu, Cheng||Sachs, Matthew S||Aramayo, Rodolfo||Harlow, Mark

publication date

  • August 2017