Transcriptome Analysis on Chlorpyrifos Detoxification in Uronema marinum (Ciliophora, Oligohymenophorea)

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Chlorpyrifos (CPF) pollution has drawn widespread concerns in aquatic environments due to its risks to ecologic system, however, the response mechanisms of ciliates to CPF pollution were poorly studied. In our current work, the degradation of CPF by ciliates and the morphological changes of ciliates after CPF exposure were investigated. In addition, the transcriptomic profiles of the ciliate Uronema marinum, with and without exposure with CPF, were detected using digital gene expression technologies. De novo transcriptome assembly 166,829,634 reads produced from three groups (untreated, CPF treatment at 12 h and 24 h) by whole transcriptome sequencing (RNA-Seq). Gene ontology (GO) and Kyoto Encyclopaedia of Genes and Genomes (KEGG) pathways were analyzed in all unigenes and different expression genes to identify their biological functions and processes. Furthermore, the results indicated that genes related to the stress response, cytoskeleton and cell structure proteins, and antioxidant systems might play an important role in the resistance mechanism of ciliates. The enzyme activities of SOD and GST after CPF stress were also analyzed, and the result showed the good antioxidant capacity of SOD and GST in ciliates inferred from the increase of the activities of the two enzymes. The ciliate Uronema marinum showed a resistance response to chlorpyrifos stress at the transcriptomic level in the present work, which indicates that ciliates can be considered as a potential bioremediation agent.