Transcriptome profiling of Lymnaea stagnalis (Gastropoda) for ecoimmunological research
- Journal Article
Rights / licenseCreative Commons Attribution 4.0 International
Background Host immune function can contribute to numerous ecological/evolutionary processes. Ecoimmunological studies, however, typically use one/few phenotypic immune assays and thus do not consider the complexity of the immune system. Therefore, “omics” resources that allow quantifying immune activity across multiple pathways are needed for ecoimmunological models. We applied short-read based RNAseq (Illumina NextSeq 500, PE-81) to characterise transcriptome profiles of Lymnaea stagnalis (Gastropoda), a multipurpose model snail species. We used a genetically diverse snail stock and exposed individuals to immune elicitors (injury, bacterial/trematode pathogens) and changes in environmental conditions that can alter immune activity (temperature, food availability). Results Immune defence factors identified in the de novo assembly covered elements broadly described in other gastropods. For instance, pathogen-recognition receptors (PRR) and lectins activate Toll-like receptor (TLR) pathway and cytokines that regulate cellular and humoral defences. Surprisingly, only modest diversity of antimicrobial peptides and fibrinogen related proteins were detected when compared with other taxa. Additionally, multiple defence factors that may contribute to the phenotypic immune assays used to quantify antibacterial activity and phenoloxidase (PO)/melanisation-type reaction in this species were found. Experimental treatments revealed factors from non-self recognition (lectins) and signalling (TLR pathway, cytokines) to effectors (e.g., antibacterial proteins, PO enzymes) whose transcription depended on immune stimuli and environmental conditions, as well as components of snail physiology/metabolism that may drive these effects. Interestingly, the transcription of many factors (e.g., PRR, lectins, cytokines, PO enzymes, antibacterial proteins) showed high among-individual variation. Conclusions Our results indicate several uniform aspects of gastropod immunity, but also apparent differences between L. stagnalis and some previously examined taxa. Interestingly, in addition to immune defence factors that responded to immune elicitors and changes in environmental conditions, many factors showed high among-individual variation across experimental snails. We propose that such factors are highly important to be included in future ecoimmunological studies because they may be the key determinants of differences in parasite resistance among individuals both within and between natural snail populations. Show more
Journal / seriesBMC Genomics
Pages / Article No.
SubjectEcological immunology; Great pond snail; Mollusc
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