• cDNA cloning;
  • gene expression;
  • leptin;
  • neighbour-joining tree;
  • prolactin;
  • tissue distribution

The full-length of insulin-like growth factor (IGF) complementary (c)DNAs encoded by igf-I and igf-II from torafugu pufferfish Takifugu rubripes were cloned in the present study. The deduced amino acid sequences of the two genes showed c. 80% identity each with those of Igf-I and Igf-II from other teleosts, respectively. Two growth hormone (GH) receptors, ghr1 and ghr2, were also cloned in silico using the T. rubripes Fugu genome database. The transcripts of T. rubripes igf-I were detected in slow muscle, heart, skin, gill, liver and intestine but not in fast muscle, spleen and testis of adult fish, whereas those of igf-II were found in all tissues examined. Subsequently, the accumulated messenger (m)RNA levels of igf-I and igf-II were investigated in an F2 population derived from a male of an apparent fast-growing T. rubripes strain and a wild female T. rubripes together with those of other growth-related genes encoding Gh, Ghr1 and Ghr2, and with those of prolactin (Prl) and leptin (Lep) previously reported. The accumulated mRNA levels of igf-I, gh and ghr1 were significantly correlated to growth rate at larval stages in the population, but not for those of igf-II, prl, ghr2 and lep. Although it is unclear whether or not this phenotype is directly related to the heredity of the fast-growing strain, the findings suggest that the expression of igf-I, gh and ghr1 is involved in the regulation of growth rate at larval stages in T. rubripes.