Cloning of the growth hormone cDNA of alligator gar Atractosteus spatula and its expression through larval development

Agnès Revol, Maria De Lourdes Garza Rodríguez, Víctor Hernández Montenegro, Carlos Aguilera, Hugo Barrera Saldaña, Roberto Mendoza

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


The alligator gar (Atractosteus spatula) is the largest freshwater fish inhabiting rivers draining into the Gulf of Mexico. This primitive fish shows a fast growth rate since its early larval stages. This is attributed to the action of growth hormone (GH), an anterior pituitary gland hormone responsible for linear growth in vertebrates that can also be expressed in extrapituitary adult tissues and in fish embryos. The present research was aimed at obtaining the GH coding sequence of the alligator gar and studying its expression through larval development. A cDNA was obtained by RT-PCR, cloned and sequenced. The alligator gar GH cDNA sequence shares 98% nucleotide similarity with that reported for Lepisosteus osseus, indicating a very slow evolution of the GH within the primitive fish, in contrast with the burst of changes observed in euteleosts. Using RT-PCR and RNA nuclease protection assays, GH transcripts were detected at very high levels in eggs, embryos and in several larval stages. These data suggest that the GH may play an important role during embryogenesis in fish. The better understanding of alligator gar larval physiology will facilitate the culture of larvae and juvenile gar and consequently may allow the restoration of their natural populations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)423-429
Number of pages7
JournalComparative Biochemistry and Physiology - A Molecular and Integrative Physiology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2005


  • Atractosteus
  • Development
  • Fish larvae
  • Growth hormone


Dive into the research topics of 'Cloning of the growth hormone cDNA of alligator gar Atractosteus spatula and its expression through larval development'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this