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Single cell RNA-seq is a powerful and sensitive way to capture the genome-wide gene expression. Here, single cell RNA-seq was utilized to study the transcriptomic profile of early zebrafish PGCs (primordial germ cells) at three different developmental stages. The three stages were 6, 11 and 24 hpf (hours post fertilization). For each developmental stage, three zebrafish PGCs from one embryo were collected, and 9 samples in total were used in this experiment. Single cell RNA-seq results showed that 5099-7376 genes were detected among the 9 samples, and the number of expressed genes decreased as development progressed. Based on the gene expression pattern, samples from 6 and 11 hpf clustered closely, while samples from 24 hpf were more dispersed. By WGCNA (weighted gene co-expression network analysis), the two biggest modules that had inverse gene expression patterns were found to be related to PGC formation or migration. Functional enrichment analysis for these two modules showed that PGCs mainly conducted migration and cell division in early development (6/11 hpf) and translation activity became active in late development (24 hpf). Differentially expressed gene analyses showed that more genes were downregulated than upregulated between two adjacent stages, and genes related to PGC formation or migration reported by previous studies decreased significantly from 11 to 24 hpf. Our results provide base knowledge about zebrafish PGC development at the single cell level and can be further studied by other researchers interested in biological development.
This article was published in the following journal.
Name: PloS one
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Techniques of nucleotide sequence analysis that increase the range, complexity, sensitivity, and accuracy of results by greatly increasing the scale of operations and thus the number of nucleotides, and the number of copies of each nucleotide sequenced. The sequencing may be done by analysis of the synthesis or ligation products, hybridization to preexisting sequences, etc.
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