Sampling the skin transcriptome of the North Atlantic right whale

Jessalyn L. Ierardi, Annalaura Mancia, Jo Ellyn McMillan, Mats L. Lundqvist, Tracy A. Romano, John Pierce Wise, Gregory W. Warr, Robert W. Chapman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


As an initial step in defining the transcriptome of the North Atlantic right whale (Eubalaena glacialis) and developing functional genomic tools to study right whale health at the molecular physiological level, a cDNA library has been constructed from a skin biopsy. 2496 randomly selected clones (expressed sequence tags, ESTs) have been sequenced, and genes identified as important in the response to stress and immune challenges have been cloned by targeted RT-PCR from skin cDNA. The analysis of the EST collection (archived at and GenBank) showed a 34.79% redundancy, yielding 1578 unigenes and 27 potential microsatellite markers. 96 genes were cloned by targeted PCR; moreover, 52 of these genes are stress and immune function related. A Gene Ontology analysis of the unigene collection indicates that the skin is a rich source of expressed genes with diverse functions, suggesting an important role in multiple physiological processes including those related to immunity and stress response.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)154-158
Number of pages5
JournalComparative Biochemistry and Physiology - Part D: Genomics and Proteomics
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2009


  • Eubalaena glacialis
  • Expressed Sequence Tags (ESTs)
  • Immune response
  • Microsatellite
  • North Atlantic right whale
  • Skin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Physiology
  • Aquatic Science
  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics


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