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Title: Differential gene expression and alternative splicing in insect immune specificity.
Authors: Riddell, C. E.
Lobaton Garces, J. D.
Adams, S.
Barribeau, S. M.
Twell, David
Mallon, Eamonn B.
First Published: 27-Nov-2014
Publisher: BioMed Central
Citation: Riddell et al. BMC Genomics 2014, 15:1031
Abstract: Background: Ecological studies routinely show genotype-genotype interactions between insects and their parasites. The mechanisms behind these interactions are not clearly understood. Using the bumblebee Bombus terrestris/trypanosome Crithidia bombi model system (two bumblebee colonies by two Crithidia strains), we have carried out a transcriptome-wide analysis of gene expression and alternative splicing in bees during C. bombi infection. We have performed four analyses, 1) comparing gene expression in infected and non-infected bees 24 hours after infection by Crithidia bombi, 2) comparing expression at 24 and 48 hours after C. bombi infection, 3) determining the differential gene expression associated with the bumblebee-Crithidia genotype-genotype interaction at 24 hours after infection and 4) determining the alternative splicing associated with the bumblebee-Crithidia genotype-genotype interaction at 24 hours post infection. Results: We found a large number of genes differentially regulated related to numerous canonical immune pathways. These genes include receptors, signaling pathways and effectors. We discovered a possible interaction between the peritrophic membrane and the insect immune system in defense against Crithidia. Most interestingly, we found differential expression and alternative splicing of immunoglobulin related genes (Dscam and Twitchin) are associated with the genotype-genotype interactions of the given bumblebee colony and Crithidia strain. Conclusions: In this paper we have shown that the expression and alternative splicing of immune genes is associated with specific interactions between different host and parasite genotypes in this bumblebee/trypanosome model.
DOI Link: 10.1186/1471-2164-15-1031
ISSN: 1471-2164
eISSN: 1471-2164
Version: Publisher Version
Status: Peer-reviewed
Type: Journal Article
Rights: © 2014 Riddell et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly credited. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver ( applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.
Description: PMCID: PMC4302123 Additional files Additional file 1: Table S1. The sequences, statistics and annotations for all differentially expressed genes in each of the three differential expression analyses are available from Additional file 2: Table S2. The complete output of the DEXSeq analysis is available from Additional file 3: Table S3. 615 loci displayed alternative splicing depending on the the interaction between the host genotype and the parasite genotype. The sequences, statistics and annotations for these loci is available in the supplementary data from figshare.1054540.
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