We have been talking quite a bit about the first transcriptome sequenced during our project, the one of Pterygoplichthys anisitsi. But, who is Pterygoplichthys anisitsi (Figure 1)?
Figure 1: Pterygoplichthys anisitsi
Ptery, as we friendly call it, is a specie of Loricariid fish distributed over the basins of the rivers Paraná, Paraguay and Uruguay, all of those in the centro-south part of South America (Figure 2). It is characterized by their large dorsal fins with 9 or more fin rays, which distinguish the genera Pterygoplichthys from the genera Hypostomus, that have only 7-8 dorsal fin rays. Ptery also have the body covered with flexible bony plates, the abdomen is almost completely covered in small plates covered with large spots irregularly and a ventral sucker mouth.
Figure 2: Area of distribution of Pterygoplichthys anisitsi. Figure from http://goo.gl/GY25Ov
Here in Brazil, Pterygoplichthys and other sucker mouth catfishes are known as ''limpa-vidros'' because small of these catfish are used for ornamental purposes, since it feed of the sludge that builds up on the walls of the aquarium.
The exemplar of P. anisitsi used in this work was kindly provided by Prof. Eduardo Almeida, from the São Paulo State University (UNESP) at the city of São José do Rio Preto. Actually, this fish was used in another work that investigate biochemical responses of Ptery to biodiesel, and that was recently published in the journal Ecotoxicology and Environmental Safety. You can see this work here.
That is all for now. Bye!