Identification of hub genes in digestive system of mandarin fish (Siniperca chuatsi) fed with artificial diet by weighted gene co-expression network analysis.

Yawei Shen, Lingyuan Song, Tiantian Chen, Hewei Jiang, Guokun Yang, Yanmin Zhang, Xindang Zhang, Kah Kheng Lim, Xiaolin Meng, Jinliang Zhao, Xiaowu Chen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Mandarin fish (Siniperca chuatsi) is a carnivorous freshwater fish and an economically important species. The digestive system (liver, stomach, intestine, pyloric caecum, esophagus, and gallbladder) is an important site for studying fish domestication. In our previous study, we found that mandarin fish undergoes adaptive changes in histological morphology and gene expression levels of the digestive system when subjected to artificial diet domestication. However, we are not clear which hub genes are highly associated with domestication. In this study, we performed WGCNA on the transcriptomes of 17 tissues and 9 developmental stages and combined differentially expressed genes analysis in the digestive system to identify the hub genes that may play important functions in the adaptation of mandarin fish to bait conversion. A total of 31,657 genes in 26 samples were classified into 23 color modules via WGCNA. The modules midnightblue, darkred, lightyellow, and darkgreen highly associated with the liver, stomach, esophagus, and gallbladder were extracted, respectively. Tan module was highly related to both intestine and pyloric caecum. The hub genes in liver were cp, vtgc, c1in, c9, lect2, and klkb1. The hub genes in stomach were ghrl, atp4a, gjb3, muc5ac, duox2, and chia2. The hub genes in esophagus were mybpc1, myl2, and tpm3. The hub genes in gallbladder were dyst, npy2r, slc13a1, and slc39a4. The hub genes in the intestine and pyloric caecum were slc15a1, cdhr5, btn3a1, anpep, slc34a2, cdhr2, and ace2. Through pathway analysis, modules highly related to the digestive system were mainly enriched in digestion and absorption, metabolism, and immune-related pathways. After domestication, the hub genes vtgc and lect2 were significantly upregulated in the liver. Chia2 was significantly downregulated in the stomach. Slc15a1, anpep, and slc34a2 were significantly upregulated in the intestine. This study identified the hub genes that may play an important role in the adaptation of the digestive system to artificial diet, which provided novel evidence and ideas for further research on the domestication of mandarin fish from molecular level.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)101112
JournalComparative biochemistry and physiology. Part D, Genomics & proteomics
StatePublished - Jul 27 2023

Bibliographical note

KAUST Repository Item: Exported on 2023-08-01
Acknowledgements: This research was supported by the Earmarked fund for CARS (CARS-46), the Key National and Special Project of Blue Granary Science and Technology Innovation (2020YFD0900400), the Scholarship from China Scholarship Council (202008967002), the Training plan for applied talents integrating industry and education – Collage of Future Technology, and the Doctoral Research Initiation Grant of Henan Normal University (5101229170829).

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Genetics
  • Molecular Biology
  • Physiology


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