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Title: Major host transitions are modulated through transcriptome-wide reprograming events in Schistocephalus solidus, a threespine stickleback parasite.
Authors: Hébert, F. O.
Grambauer, Stephan
Barber, Iain
Landry, C. R.
Aubin-Horth, N.
First Published: 20-Dec-2016
Publisher: Wiley
Citation: Molecular Ecology, 2016
Abstract: Parasites with complex life cycles have developed numerous phenotypic strategies, closely associated with developmental events, to enable the exploitation of different ecological niches and facilitate transmission between hosts. How these environmental shifts are regulated from a metabolic and physiological standpoint, however, still remain to be fully elucidated. We examined the transcriptomic response of Schistocephalus solidus, a trophically-transmitted parasite with a complex life cycle, over the course of its development in an intermediate host, the threespine stickleback, and the final avian host. Results from our differential gene expression analysis show major reprogramming events among developmental stages. The final host stage is characterized by a strong activation of reproductive pathways and redox homeostasis. The attainment of infectivity in the fish intermediate host - which precedes sexual maturation in the final host and is associated with host behaviour changes - is marked by transcription of genes involved in neural pathways and sensory perception. Our results suggest that un-annotated and S. solidus-specific genes could play a determinant role in host-parasite molecular interactions required to complete the parasite's life cycle. Our results permit future comparative analyses to help disentangle species-specific patterns of infection from conserved mechanisms, ultimately leading to a better understanding of the molecular control and evolution of complex life cycles.
DOI Link: 10.1111/mec.13970
ISSN: 0962-1083
eISSN: 1365-294X
Version: Post-print
Status: Peer-reviewed
Type: Journal Article
Rights: Creative Commons “Attribution Non-Commercial No Derivatives” licence CC BY-NC-ND, further details of which can be found via the following link: Archived with reference to SHERPA/RoMEO and publisher website.
Appears in Collections:Published Articles, Dept. of Neuroscience, Psychology and Behaviour

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