Friday, 2 October 2015

Transcriptome of the pregnant male seahorse

Pot-bellied seahorse (Hippocampus abdominalis) from Sketchbook of Fishes
by William Buelow Gould (1801-53)
Viviparity in seahorses involves incubation of the embryos in the brood pouch of the male. A new study (abstract here) analyses the transcriptome of the brood pouch of the pot-bellied seahorse for genes that are upregulated during pregnancy and in transition to the post partum state.

Many of the same genes or their homologs are upregulated during pregnancy in mammals and other viviparous taxa. Placentologists will want to scan the tables for their favourite genes. I found it interesting that genes involved in lipid transport and iron transfer are upregulated.

The authors suggest the possibility that a common toolkit of genes is recruited to support pregnacy in mammals, reptiles and live-bearing fish.

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