Immune-related transcriptome of Coptotermes formosanus Shiraki workers: the defense mechanism.
ABSTRACT: Formosan subterranean termites, Coptotermes formosanus Shiraki, live socially in microbial-rich habitats. To understand the molecular mechanism by which termites combat pathogenic microbes, a full-length normalized cDNA library and four Suppression Subtractive Hybridization (SSH) libraries were constructed from termite workers infected with entomopathogenic fungi (Metarhizium anisopliae and Beauveria bassiana), Gram-positive Bacillus thuringiensis and Gram-negative Escherichia coli, and the libraries were analyzed. From the high quality normalized cDNA library, 439 immune-related sequences were identified. These sequences were categorized as pattern recognition receptors (47 sequences), signal modulators (52 sequences), signal transducers (137 sequences), effectors (39 sequences) and others (164 sequences). From the SSH libraries, 27, 17, 22 and 15 immune-related genes were identified from each SSH library treated with M. anisopliae, B. bassiana, B. thuringiensis and E. coli, respectively. When the normalized cDNA library was compared with the SSH libraries, 37 immune-related clusters were found in common; 56 clusters were identified in the SSH libraries, and 259 were identified in the normalized cDNA library. The immune-related gene expression pattern was further investigated using quantitative real time PCR (qPCR). Important immune-related genes were characterized, and their potential functions were discussed based on the integrated analysis of the results. We suggest that normalized cDNA and SSH libraries enable us to discover functional genes transcriptome. The results remarkably expand our knowledge about immune-inducible genes in C. formosanus Shiraki and enable the future development of novel control strategies for the management of Formosan subterranean termites.
Project description:A new and highly effective method, termed suppression subtractive hybridization (SSH), has been developed for the generation of subtracted cDNA libraries. It is based primarily on a recently described technique called suppression PCR and combines normalization and subtraction in a single procedure. The normalization step equalizes the abundance of cDNAs within the target population and the subtraction step excludes the common sequences between the target and driver populations. In a model system, the SSH technique enriched for rare sequences over 1,000-fold in one round of subtractive hybridization. We demonstrate its usefulness by generating a testis-specific cDNA library and by using the subtracted cDNA mixture as a hybridization probe to identify homologous sequences in a human Y chromosome cosmid library. The human DNA inserts in the isolated cosmids were further confirmed to be expressed in a testis-specific manner. These results suggest that the SSH technique is applicable to many molecular genetic and positional cloning studies for the identification of disease, developmental, tissue-specific, or other differentially expressed genes.
Project description:The collapse of Atlantic cod (Gadus morhua) wild populations strongly impacted the Atlantic cod fishery and led to the development of cod aquaculture. In order to improve aquaculture and broodstock quality, we need to gain knowledge of genes and pathways involved in Atlantic cod responses to pathogens and other stressors. The Atlantic Cod Genomics and Broodstock Development Project has generated over 150,000 expressed sequence tags from 42 cDNA libraries representing various tissues, developmental stages, and stimuli. We used this resource to develop an Atlantic cod oligonucleotide microarray containing 20,000 unique probes. Selection of sequences from the full range of cDNA libraries enables application of the microarray for a broad spectrum of Atlantic cod functional genomics studies. We included sequences that were highly abundant in suppression subtractive hybridization (SSH) libraries, which were enriched for transcripts responsive to pathogens or other stressors. These sequences represent genes that potentially play an important role in stress and/or immune responses, making the microarray particularly useful for studies of Atlantic cod gene expression responses to immune stimuli and other stressors. To demonstrate its value, we used the microarray to analyze the Atlantic cod spleen response to stimulation with formalin-killed, atypical Aeromonas salmonicida, resulting in a gene expression profile that indicates a strong innate immune response. These results were further validated by quantitative PCR analysis and comparison to results from previous analysis of an SSH library. This study shows that the Atlantic cod 20K oligonucleotide microarray is a valuable new tool for Atlantic cod functional genomics research.
Project description:The survival and foraging of Coptotermesformosanus Shiraki in a microbe-rich environment reflect the adaptation of an extraordinary, sophisticated defense mechanism by the nest-mates. We aimed to explore the host pathogen interaction by studying caste-specific volatile chemistry and genes encoding the antioxidant defense of winged imagoes, nymphs, soldiers and workers of Formosan subterranean termites. Qualitative analyses of C.formosanus Shiraki performed by HS-SPME/GC-MS showed considerable variations in the chemical composition of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and their proportions among all the castes. Winged imagoes produced the most important compounds such as naphthalene and n-hexanoic acid. The antifungal activity of these compounds along with nonanal, n-pentadecane, n-tetradecane, n-heptadecane and methyl octanoate against the conidial suspensions of Metarhiziumanisopliae and Beauveriabassiana isolates enable us to suggest that the failure of natural fungal infection in the nest is due to the antiseptic environment of the nest, which is mainly controlled by the VOCs of nest-mates. In addition, conidial germination of M.anisopliae and B.bassiana isolates evaluated on the cuticle of each caste showed significant variations among isolates and different castes. Our results showed that the conidia of M.anisopliae 02049 exhibited the highest germination on the cuticle of all the inoculated castes. Moreover, we recorded the lowest germination of the conidia of B.bassiana 200436. Caste-specific germination variations enabled us to report for the first time that the cuticle of winged imagoes was found to be the most resistant cuticle. The analysis of the transcriptome of C.formosanus Shiraki revealed the identification of 17 genes directly involved in antioxidant defense. Expression patterns of the identified antioxidant genes by quantitative real-time PCR (qPCR) revealed the significantly highest upregulation of CAT, GST, PRXSL, Cu/Zn-SOD2, TXN1, TXN2, TXNL1, TXNL2, TXNL4A and TPx genes among winged imagoes upon infection with the most virulent isolate, M.anisopliae 02049. Furthermore, soldiers showed the least expression of genes encoding antioxidant defense. Our findings indicated that the volatile chemistry of nest-mates and genes encoding antioxidant defense greatly contribute to the survival and foraging of Formosan subterranean termites in a microbe-rich habitat.
Project description:We investigated the bacterial composition in the gut of Formosan subterranean termites (FST), Coptotermes formosanus Shiraki, collected from southern China (native range) vs. Louisiana, U. S. (introduced range) using 16S rRNA gene sequencing. Overall, we identified 213 bacteria ribotypes from thirteen phyla. The enemy release hypothesis could not be invoked to explain invasion success of FST since no pathogens were found among the bacterial gut community regardless of geographic origin. Invasion of new habitats did not significantly change the bacteria composition. Apparently, the tight co-evolutionary link between termites and their gut flora maintains a certain association of species and functional groups. Ribotype richness, bacteria diversity, and proportions of detected phyla were not influenced by geographic origin of FST samples; however, these parameters were affected by storage of the samples. Ethanol storage of termite samples (5 yrs) increased the relative proportions of gram-positive bacteria versus gram-negative bacteria.
Project description:In termites, division of labor among castes, categories of individuals that perform specialized tasks, increases colony-level productivity and is the key to their ecological success. Although molecular studies on caste polymorphism have been performed in termites, we are far from a comprehensive understanding of the molecular basis of this phenomenon. To facilitate future molecular studies, we aimed to construct expressed sequence tag (EST) libraries covering wide ranges of gene repertoires in three representative termite species, Hodotermopsis sjostedti, Reticulitermes speratus and Nasutitermes takasagoensis. We generated normalized cDNA libraries from whole bodies, except for guts containing microbes, of almost all castes, sexes and developmental stages and sequenced them with the 454 GS FLX titanium system. We obtained >1.2 million quality-filtered reads yielding >400 million bases for each of the three species. Isotigs, which are analogous to individual transcripts, and singletons were produced by assembling the reads and annotated using public databases. Genes related to juvenile hormone, which plays crucial roles in caste differentiation of termites, were identified from the EST libraries by BLAST search. To explore the potential for DNA methylation, which plays an important role in caste differentiation of honeybees, tBLASTn searches for DNA methyltransferases (dnmt1, dnmt2 and dnmt3) and methyl-CpG binding domain (mbd) were performed against the EST libraries. All four of these genes were found in the H. sjostedti library, while all except dnmt3 were found in R. speratus and N. takasagoensis. The ratio of the observed to the expected CpG content (CpG O/E), which is a proxy for DNA methylation level, was calculated for the coding sequences predicted from the isotigs and singletons. In all of the three species, the majority of coding sequences showed depletion of CpG O/E (less than 1), and the distributions of CpG O/E were bimodal, suggesting the presence of DNA methylation.
Project description:BACKGROUND: Several high throughput technologies have been employed to identify differentially regulated genes that may be molecular targets for drug discovery. Here we compared the sets of differentially regulated genes discovered using two experimental approaches: a subtracted suppressive hybridization (SSH) cDNA library methodology and Affymetrix GeneChip technology. In this "case study" we explored the transcriptional pattern changes during the in vitro differentiation of human monocytes to myeloid dendritic cells (DC), and evaluated the potential for novel gene discovery using the SSH methodology. RESULTS: The same RNA samples isolated from peripheral blood monocyte precursors and immature DC (iDC) were used for GeneChip microarray probing and SSH cDNA library construction. 10,000 clones from each of the two-way SSH libraries (iDC-monocytes and monocytes-iDC) were picked for sequencing. About 2000 transcripts were identified for each library from 8000 successful sequences. Only 70% to 75% of these transcripts were represented on the U95 series GeneChip microarrays, implying that 25% to 30% of these transcripts might not have been identified in a study based only on GeneChip microarrays. In addition, about 10% of these transcripts appeared to be "novel", although these have not yet been closely examined. Among the transcripts that are also represented on the chips, about a third were concordantly discovered as differentially regulated between iDC and monocytes by GeneChip microarray transcript profiling. The remaining two thirds were either not inferred as differentially regulated from GeneChip microarray data, or were called differentially regulated but in the opposite direction. This underscores the importance both of generating reciprocal pairs of SSH libraries, and of real-time RT-PCR confirmation of the results. CONCLUSIONS: This study suggests that SSH could be used as an alternative and complementary transcript profiling tool to GeneChip microarrays, especially in identifying novel genes and transcripts of low abundance.
Project description:Formosan subterranean termites, Coptotermes formosanus Shiraki, usually transport clay materials into tree hollows and bait stations. Our previous research showed that C. formosanus preferred to aggregate in the locations containing field-collected clay samples, but it was not clear whether this preference was influenced by clay types and/or moisture. In the present study, we conducted multiple-choice tests under low-moisture (25% moisture) or moderate-moisture (50% moisture) conditions to evaluate the aggregation and wood-feeding preferences of C. formosanus responding to hollow wooden cylinders (simulation of tree hollows) or baiting containers (simulation of bait stations) filled with different clay materials (bentonite , kaolin, chlorite, illite, or attapulgite), soil, or unfilled. Under low-moisture conditions, the majority of termites were found in the wooden cylinders or baiting containers filled with bentonite. Under moderate-moisture conditions, however, termites preferred to aggregate in wooden cylinders filled with chlorite or attapulgite; the percentages of termites that stayed in baiting containers filled with chlorite, attapulgite or soil were similar, which were significantly higher than those that filled with kaolin, illite, or unfilled. We then conducted no-choice tests to study the effect of clay materials on termites. Under low-moisture conditions, clay filled in the baiting containers significantly increased survivorship and body water percentage (an indicator of termite vigor) of termites, whereas no similar effect was detected under moderate-moisture conditions. This study demonstrated that both clay type and moisture affect termites' preference.
Project description:BACKGROUND: Termites (Isoptera) are eusocial insects whose colonies consist of morphologically and behaviorally specialized castes of sterile workers and soldiers, and reproductive alates. Previous studies on eusocial insects have indicated that caste differentiation and behavior are underlain by differential gene expression. Although much is known about gene expression in the honey bee, Apis mellifera, termites remain relatively understudied in this regard. Therefore, our objective was to assemble an expressed sequence tag (EST) data base for the eastern subterranean termite, Reticulitermes flavipes, for future gene expression studies. RESULTS: Soldier, worker, and alate caste and two larval cDNA libraries were constructed, and approximately 15,000 randomly chosen clones were sequenced to compile an EST data base. Putative gene functions were assigned based on a BLASTX Swissprot search. Categorical in silico expression patterns for each library were compared using the R-statistic. A significant proportion of the ESTs of each caste and life stages had no significant similarity to those in existing data bases. All cDNA libraries, including those of non-reproductive worker and soldier castes, contained sequences with putative reproductive functions. Genes that showed a potential expression bias among castes included a putative antibacterial humoral response and translation elongation protein in soldiers and a chemosensory protein in alates. CONCLUSIONS: We have expanded upon the available sequences for R. flavipes and utilized an in silico method to compare gene expression in different castes of an eusocial insect. The in silico analysis allowed us to identify several genes which may be differentially expressed and involved in caste differences. These include a gene overrepresented in the alate cDNA library with a predicted function of neurotransmitter secretion or cholesterol absorption and a gene predicted to be involved in protein biosynthesis and ligase activity that was overrepresented in the late larval stage cDNA library. The EST data base and analyses reported here will be a valuable resource for future studies on the genomics of R. flavipes and other termites.
Project description:The goal of this study was to identify changes in mRNA levels in tumour cells after a toxic exposure to cisplatin (IC(99)dose). Using suppression-subtractive hybridization (SSH) 2 cDNA libraries were created, an UP library (202 cDNA fragments) and a DOWN library (153 cDNA fragments). Using reversed Northern hybridization 16 and 30 fragments were truly differentially expressed in the UP and DOWN libraries, respectively. Most prominent in the UP library were the mitochondrial and injury response clusters and in the DOWN library the cytoskeletal, protein synthesis and signalling clusters. These distinct clusters potentially represent an expression profile of the cisplatin-induced cellular injury response.
Project description:BACKGROUND: The hard clam, Mercenaria mercenaria, has been affected by severe mortality episodes associated with the protistan parasite QPX (Quahog Parasite Unknown) for several years. Despite the commercial importance of hard clams in the United States, molecular bases of defense mechanisms in M. mercenaria, especially during QPX infection, remain unknown. RESULTS: Our study used suppression subtractive hybridization (SSH), as well as the construction of cDNA libraries from hemocytes to identify genes related to the defense of the hard clam against its parasite. Hard clams were experimentally infected with QPX and SSH was performed on mRNA samples extracted from mantle and gill tissues at different times post-challenge. A total of 298 clones from SSH libraries and 1352 clones from cDNA libraries were sequenced. Among these sequences, homologies with genes involved in different physiological processes related to signal transduction, stress response, immunity and protein synthesis were identified. Quantitative PCR revealed significant changes in the expression of several of these genes in response to QPX challenge and demonstrated significant correlations in terms of levels of gene expression between intermediates of signalling pathways and humoral defense factors, such as big defensin and lysozyme. CONCLUSION: Results of this study allowed the detection of modifications caused by QPX at the transcriptional level providing insight into clam immune response to the infection. These investigations permitted the identification of candidate genes and pathways for further analyses of biological bases of clam resistance to QPX allowing for a better understanding of bivalve immunity in general.