Dopamine mediates a link between aggressive behavior and biogenic amine gene in Scylla paramamosain

Published: 26 February 2024| Version 1 | DOI: 10.17632/y7pwsbtxp4.1
Lei Liu,
, Yuanyuan Fu


The innate aggressiveness of Scylla paramamosain and its consequent propensity for intraspecific conflict have impeded the sustainable culturing of this species. Currently, there are a limited number of investigations that have examined the aggressive conduct of S. paramamosain. In this particular inquiry, an animal motion trajectory tracking system (EthoVision XT 12.0, Noldus, the Netherlands) was employed to realize a quantitative analysis of crab aggressive behavior. The study concentrated on the mud crab, to establish an aggressive behavior model. The objectives of this investigation were to characterize the mechanism of DA in the context of aggressive behavior in S. paramamosain, to provide reference data for analyzing the genetic mechanisms of aggressive behavior in S. paramamosain, and to ultimately mitigate the harm and mortality resulting from crab aggressive behaviors during their cultivation. The classification and quantification of aggressive behavior led to the establishment of a model for aggressive behavior in crabs that served as a basis for evaluating fighting intensity in subsequent studies. Following a fight, the hemolymph of mud crabs exhibited a significant increase in 5-HT content (P < 0.05), whereas the contents of dopamine (DA) and cAMP were significantly decreased significantly (P < 0.05). EthoVision was employed to examine the alterations in mud crab behavior subsequent to the administration of DA. Following a 0.5-h injection, the high-concentration DA group exhibited significantly greater movement speed, moving distance, duration of aggressive behavior, and aggressive intensity compared to both a normal saline injection group and an untreated control group (P < 0.05). The findings of a real-time quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR) analysis indicated that the expression of DA1 in the thoracic ganglion of mud crabs was significantly down-regulated in the DA injection group where aggressive behavior was weakened. Conversely, DA1 expression was upregulated when aggressive behavior was strengthened. Our results facilitate deeper analysis of the aggressive behavioral mechanisms of mud crabs and offer a theoretical foundation for mitigating fighting-related casualties during aquaculture. The attached data include five excel files. The fighting intensity data file include two data sheets named “number of attacks” and “duration of fight”. The “open field test” data sheets include moving distance, speed and freeze time of different experimental groups with treatments of DA. All the data in these data sheets were recorded using the EthoVision XT system. The pincer force data were collected using the method in the previous study. A quantitative RT-PCR assay using Power SYBR Green PCR Master Mix was used to determine the distribution of four groups in the tissues of S. paramamosain. And the results were recorded in the QPCR data file. The relative expression levels of Sp5-HTR1 were calculated using the 2−ΔΔCt method.



Ningbo University


Dopamine, Aggression, Behavior Genetics, Crab