Identification and Isolation
of Stress Related Gene in
robustus) and Fin Whales
June 04, 2009
School of Aquatic and Fishery Science
University of Washington
Seattle, WA 98195
• North Pacific is home to over 80 species of cetaceans
• Sub-Order Odontoceti
• Sub-Order Mysticeti
Gray Whale, Eschrichtius robustus
• Sub-Order Mysticeti
• Females are typically 11.7 and 15.2 m in length and males are 11.1 to 14.3
m (Evans 1987).
• Grey colored skin with barnacles (Cryptolepas rachianecti) and barnacle
• Only large whale where the upper jaw extends over the lower jaw
Fin Whale, Balaenoptera physalus
• Sub-Order Mysticeti
• Males and Females are typically 18 to 21 m, up to 27 m
• Clearly defined grey, white, brown and black, chevron-shaped coloration pattern on
the right side, behind the head and an asymmetrical coloration of the lower jaw:
white on right, dark on left
• The status of Atlantic and Pacific Fin Whale assigned by the Committee on the
Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC)
• April 1987 – “of special concern”
• May 2002 – Pacific Fin whale is classified as THREATENED
• organochlorine compounds like
(HCHs), chlordane compounds (CHLs) and
polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) can disrupt
normal endocrine physiology in marine mammals
• Climate Change
• reduction of available habitat
•the acidification of the oceans as they absorb
growing quantities of CO2
• Increased susceptibility of cetaceans to diseases
• reduced reproductive success
(World Wide Fund, 2007)
• Identification of genes of interest
•Glutathione S-transferase A4 (GStra)
• Superoxide dismutase [Cu-Zn] (SD)
• Heat shock 70kDa protein 6 (HSP6)
• Interleukin-2 precursor (IL-2)
• Interleukin 17 (IL17)
• Interleukin 13 precursor (IL13)
• Toll-like receptor 5 (TLR5)
• Cyclooxygenase (COX-2)
• Isolation of the expressed gene of interest
• Interleukin 17
• Prostaglandin-endoperoxide synthetase-2
• tRNA synthetase
• Glutathione S-transferase A4
• Homology of genes from other organisms with Grey and Fin Whale
Figure 1: Row one: Lane (1)100 bp ladder, (2) Figure 2: Lane (1) 100 bp ladder, (2) Negative
Negative control Gstra, (3) Grey whale Gstra, (4) control IL17, (3) Grey whale IL17, (4) Fin whale
Fin whale Gstra, (5) Negative control HSP6, (6) IL17, (5) Negative control IL13, (6) Grey whale
Grey whale HSP6, (7) Fin whale HSP6, (8) Negative IL13, (7) Fin whale IL13, (8) Negative control
control SD, (9) Grey whale SD, (10) Fin whale SD. IL2, (9) Grey whale IL2, (10) Fin whale IL2, (11)
Row 2: Lane (1) 100 bp ladder, (2) Negative control Negative control TLR5, (12) Grey whale
COX2, (3) Grey whale COX2, (4) Fin whale COX2. TLR5, (13) Fin whale TLR5, (14) 100 bp ladder.
Dr. Steven Roberts
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association
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