New variant of DSRED2 fluorescent protein with potential application in ornamental fish farming

Author: Natalia Ossa Hernández (Currículo Lattes)
Supervisor: Dr Luis Fernando Fernandes Marins
Co-supervisor: Dra Daniela Volcan Almeida


The economic profitability generated by ornamental aquaculture makes it one of the important components of the aquaculture industry. The increased demand for ornamental fish generates the need to use techniques that allow the production of new varieties. In this scenario, genes coding for fluorescent proteins have been successfully inserted into the genome of several species of fish, generating new ornamental varieties. However, the availability of fluorescent proteins on the market is limited. Thus, this work aimed to develop new variants of fluorescent proteins for application in ornamental aquaculture. For this, the DsRed2 gene that codes for the red fluorescent protein of the coral Discosoma was used as a basis for the production of new variants through random mutagenesis induced by error-prone PCR (epPCR). A total of 12 variant genes were isolated, sequenced and analyzed. The variant named Mutant # 10 showed interesting changes in its spectral properties, having xxxx fluorescence emission when excited at the wavelengths of xxx and xxxxx nm, respectively. This new variant was expressed in Escherichia coli and also in the muscle tissue of the zebrafish (Danio rerio), presenting the xxxxxx emission of fluorescence in both models. A protein with xxxxx fluorescence emission can have applications in several areas, from basic sciences to ornamental aquaculture.