<i>In vivo</i> RNA interference in oyster : <i>vasa</i> silencing inhibits germ cell development

TitleIn vivo RNA interference in oyster : vasa silencing inhibits germ cell development
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2009
AuthorsFabioux, C, Corporeau, C, Quillien, V, Favrel, P, Huvet, A
JournalFEBS Journal

This study investigated the potential of RNA interference, which is technically challenging in bivalve mollusc species, to assess gene function in the oyster Crassostrea\Â\}\~{}gigas. We designed dsRNA targeting the oyster vasa-like gene (Oyvlg), specifically expressed in oyster germ cells. In\Â\}\~{}vivo injection of oyvl-dsRNA into the gonad provokes a knockdown phenotype corresponding to germ cell underproliferation and prematurely arrested meiosis througout the organ. The most severe phenotype observed is sterile. This knockdown phenotype is associated with a decrease in Oyvlg mRNA level of between 39% and 87%, and a strong reduction in OYVLG protein, to an undetectable level. Therefore, Oyvlg appears to be essential for germ cell development in Crassostrea\Â\}\~{}gigas, particularly for mitotic proliferation and early meiosis. Our results demonstrate for the first time that in\Â\}\~{}vivo RNA interference works efficiently in a bivalve species, opening major perspectives for functional genetic studies.