Large scale changes in the transcriptome of Eisenia fetida during regeneration.
ABSTRACT: Earthworms show a wide spectrum of regenerative potential with certain species like Eisenia fetida capable of regenerating more than two-thirds of their body while other closely related species, such as Paranais litoralis seem to have lost this ability. Earthworms belong to the phylum Annelida, in which the genomes of the marine oligochaete Capitella telata and the freshwater leech Helobdella robusta have been sequenced and studied. Herein, we report the transcriptomic changes in Eisenia fetida (Indian isolate) during regeneration. Following injury, E. fetida regenerates the posterior segments in a time spanning several weeks. We analyzed gene expression changes both in the newly regenerating cells and in the adjacent tissue, at early (15days post amputation), intermediate (20days post amputation) and late (30 days post amputation) by RNAseq based de novo assembly and comparison of transcriptomes. We also generated a draft genome sequence of this terrestrial red worm using short reads and mate-pair reads. An in-depth analysis of the miRNome of the worm showed that many miRNA gene families have undergone extensive duplications. Sox4, a master regulator of TGF-beta mediated epithelial-mesenchymal transition was induced in the newly regenerated tissue. Genes for several proteins such as sialidases and neurotrophins were identified amongst the differentially expressed transcripts. The regeneration of the ventral nerve cord was also accompanied by the induction of nerve growth factor and neurofilament genes. We identified 315 novel differentially expressed transcripts in the transcriptome, that have no homolog in any other species. Surprisingly, 82% of these novel differentially expressed transcripts showed poor potential for coding proteins, suggesting that novel ncRNAs may play a critical role in regeneration of earthworm.
Project description:Earthworms show a wide spectrum of regenerative potential with certain species like Eisenia fetida, a terrestrial redworm, capable of regenerating more than two-thirds of their body while other closely related species, such as Paranais litoralis seem to have lost this ability. Earthworms belong to the phylum annelida, in which the genomes of the marine oligochaete Capitella telata, and the freshwater leech Helobdella robusta have been sequenced and studied. Herein, we report the de novo assembled transcriptome of Eisenia fetida (Indian isolate), along with an analysis of the transcriptomic changes during regeneration. We also used de novo assembled RNAseq data to identify genes that are differentially expressed during regeneration, both in the newly regenerating cells and in the adjacent tissue. Overall design: Gene Expression profiles of E.fetida, before and 15,20 or 30 days after cutting were generated by deep sequencing, in triplicate, using Illumina.
Project description:Regeneration of body parts and their interaction with the immune response is a poorly understood aspect of earthworm biology. Consequently, we aimed to study the mechanisms of innate immunity during regeneration in <i>Eisenia andrei</i> earthworms. In the course of anterior and posterior regeneration, we documented the kinetical aspects of segment restoration by histochemistry. Cell proliferation peaked at two weeks and remitted by four weeks in regenerating earthworms. Apoptotic cells were present throughout the cell renewal period. Distinct immune cell (e.g., coelomocyte) subsets were accumulated in the newly-formed blastema in the close proximity of the apoptotic area. Regenerating earthworms have decreased pattern recognition receptors (PRRs) (e.g., <i>TLR,</i> except for <i>scavenger receptor</i>) and antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) (e.g., <i>lysenin</i>) mRNA patterns compared to intact earthworms. In contrast, at the protein level, mirroring regulation of lysenins became evident. Experimental coelomocyte depletion caused significantly impaired cell divisions and blastema formation during anterior and posterior regeneration. These obtained novel data allow us to gain insight into the intricate interactions of regeneration and invertebrate innate immunity.
Project description:In recent years, animals and plants have received increasing attention as potential next-generation protein production systems, especially for biopharmaceuticals and animal proteins. The aim of the present study was to develop the earthworms Eisenia fetida Waki and Eisenia andrei Sagami as next-generation animal protein production hosts. These earthworms have been approved as model animals for acute toxicity tests by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, and they have post-translational modification systems. However, so far, none of the studies have used earthworm transfection techniques. Thus, we developed a transfection method for E. fetida and E. andrei using microinjection and electroporation systems. The maximum survival rates and transfection efficiencies were 79.2% and 29.2% for E. fetida, and 95.8% and 50.0% for E. andrei, respectively. Furthermore, human erythropoietin was detected in the transformed earthworm tail fragments using an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. These results contribute to the development of a potential earthworm-based novel animal protein production system.
Project description:Earthworms are sensitive to toxic chemicals present in the soil and so are useful indicator organisms for soil health. Eisenia fetida are commonly used in ecotoxicological studies; therefore the assembly of a baseline transcriptome is important for subsequent analyses exploring the impact of toxin exposure on genome wide gene expression.This paper reports on the de novo transcriptome assembly of E. fetida using Trinity, a freely available software tool. Trinotate was used to carry out functional annotation of the Trinity generated transcriptome file and the transdecoder generated peptide sequence file along with BLASTX, BLASTP and HMMER searches and were loaded into a Sqlite3 database. To identify differentially expressed transcripts; each of the original sequence files were aligned to the de novo assembled transcriptome using Bowtie and then RSEM was used to estimate expression values based on the alignment. EdgeR was used to calculate differential expression between the two conditions, with an FDR corrected P value cut off of 0.001, this returned six significantly differentially expressed genes. Initial BLASTX hits of these putative genes included hits with annelid ferritin and lysozyme proteins, as well as fungal NADH cytochrome b5 reductase and senescence associated proteins. At a cut off of P = 0.01 there were a further 26 differentially expressed genes.These data have been made publicly available, and to our knowledge represent the most comprehensive available transcriptome for E. fetida assembled from RNA sequencing data. This provides important groundwork for subsequent ecotoxicogenomic studies exploring the impact of the environment on global gene expression in E. fetida and other earthworm species.
Project description:The toxicological risk assessment of chemicals is largely based on the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) guidelines. These internationally approved methodologies help shape policy and political strategy of environment and human health issues. Risk assessments which pertain to soil biota 'recruit' sentinel organisms, including the earthworm Eisenia fetida. Despite E. fetida being morphologically similar to Dendrobaena veneta, they are characterized by a several-fold difference in sensitivity to xenobiotics. Worms, sold as either as pure E. fetida stocks or E. fetida/D. veneta mixed cultures, were obtained from five commercial suppliers. The species identity of 25 earthworms was determined by sequencing the cytochrome c oxidase subunit 2 (COII). We revealed that only one of 25 worms was E. fetida, the remaining worms were all identified as D. veneta. This underlines the notion that E. fetida and D. veneta are easily mis-identified. The occurrence of cryptic speciation combined with the well-documented species-specific variation in toxicological responses highlights the pressing need to accurately classify earthworms to species level prior to any toxicological research. Only this will ensure the validity and reliability of risk assessments.
Project description:The earthworm Eisenia fetida is one of the most used species in standardized soil ecotoxicity tests. End points such as survival, growth, and reproduction are eco-toxicologically relevant but provide little mechanistic insight into toxicity pathways, especially at the molecular level. Here we apply a toxicogenomic approach to investigate the mode of action underlying the reversible neurotoxicity of hexanitrohexaazaisowurtzitane (CL-20), a cyclic nitroamine explosives compound. We developed an E. fetida-specific shotgun microarray targeting 15119 unique E. fetida transcripts. Using this array we profiled gene expression in E. fetida in response to exposure to CL-20. Eighteen earthworms were exposed for 6 days to 0.2 ?g/cm(2) of CL-20 on filter paper, half of which were allowed to recover in a clean environment for 7 days. Nine vehicle control earthworms were sacrificed at days 6 and 13, separately. Electrophysiological measurements indicated that the conduction velocity of earthworm medial giant nerve fiber decreased significantly after 6-day exposure to CL-20, but was restored after 7 days of recovery. Total RNA was isolated from the four treatment groups including 6-day control, 6-day exposed, 13-day control, and 13-day exposed (i.e., 6-day exposure followed by 7-day recovery), and was hybridized to the 15K shotgun oligo array. Statistical and bioinformatic analyses suggest that CL-20 initiated neurotoxicity by noncompetitively blocking the ligand-gated GABA(A) receptor ion channel, leading to altered expression of genes involved in GABAergic, cholinergic, and Agrin-MuSK pathways. In the recovery phase, expression of affected genes returned to normality, possibly as a result of autophagy and CL-20 dissociation/metabolism. This study provides significant insights into potential mechanisms of CL-20-induced neurotoxicity and the recovery of earthworms from transient neurotoxicity stress.
Project description:The bacterial symbiont Verminephrobacter eiseniae colonizes nephridia, the excretory organs, of the lumbricid earthworm Eisenia fetida. E. fetida transfers V. eisenia into the egg capsule albumin during capsule formation and V. eiseniae cells migrate into the earthworm nephridia during embryogenesis, where they bind and persist. In order to characterize the mechanistic basis of selective tissue colonization, methods for site-directed mutagenesis and colonization competence were developed and used to evaluate the consequences of individual gene disruptions. Using these newly developed tools, two distinct modes of bacterial motility were shown to be required for V. eiseniae colonization of nascent earthworm nephridia. Flagella and type IV pili mutants lacked motility in culture and were not able to colonize embryonic earthworms, indicating that both twitching and flagellar motility are required for entrance into the nephridia.
Project description:The earthworm Eisenia fetida is one of the most used species in standardized soil ecotoxicity tests. Endpoints such as survival, growth and reproduction are ecologically relevant but provide little mechanistic insight into the toxicity pathways, especially at the molecular level. To better understand toxicological modes of action and to facilitate the development of molecular biomarkers, we have obtained 30,245 unique EST sequences from E. fetida and have designed a novel microarray with 15,119 60-mer oligonucleotide probes. These probes target the unique non-redundant EST sequences identified in E. fetida. Using this array we have profiled gene expression of E. fetida after exposure to CL-20, a cage cyclic nitramine previously found exhibiting reversible neurotoxicity to worms. Worms were exposed for 6 days to CL-20. Half of the exposed worms were allowed to recover in a clean environment for 7 days. Electrophysiological analysis showed that the conduction velocity of worm medial giant nerve fiber was significantly decreased after 6-d exposure to CL-20, and that giant nerve fiber function was restored at the end of the 7-d recovery period. Total RNA samples isolated from four treatment groups (6 replicates per group), i.e., 6-d control, 6-d exposed, 13-d control and 6-d exposed with 7-d recovery, were analyzed using the new 15K oligo array. Bioinformatics and statistical analyses have identified specific neurological pathways affected by CL-20 and recovery of these pathways after CL-20 removal. These results provide significant insights on the CL-20 toxic mode of action and how earthworms can recover from chemical stressors. Adult earthworms (E. fetida) were exposed on filter paper to CL-20 (0.2 ug/cm2) for 6 days with or without 7-day recovery (4 treatment groups in total). Each treatment group had 9 replicate worms, six of which were used for gene expression analysis. Worms were measured for their medial giant nerve fiber conduction velocity using a non-invasive electrophysiological technique immediately before takedown. At the termination of the 6-d or 13-d experiment, worms were snap-frozen and fixed in RNAlater-ICE. Total RNA was isolated from the fixed worms. A total of 24 worm RNA samples were hybridized to three 8x15K custom-designed Agilent oligo arrays using Agilentâs one-color Low RNA Input Linear Amplification Kit. The array contains 15,208 non-redundant 60-mer probes, each targeting a unique E. fetida transcript. After hybridization and scanning, gene expression data were acquired using GenePix Pro 6.0.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>Explosive compounds such as TNT and RDX are recalcitrant contaminants often found co-existing in the environment. In order to understand the joint effects of TNT and RDX on earthworms, an important ecological and bioindicator species at the molecular level, we sampled worms (Eisenia fetida) exposed singly or jointly to TNT (50 mg/kg soil) and RDX (30 mg/kg soil) for 28 days and profiled gene expression in an interwoven loop designed microarray experiment using a 4k-cDNA array. Lethality, growth and reproductive endpoints were measured.<h4>Results</h4>Sublethal doses of TNT and RDX had no significant effects on the survival and growth of earthworms, but significantly reduced cocoon and juvenile counts. The mixture exhibited more pronounced reproductive toxicity than each single compound, suggesting an additive interaction between the two compounds. In comparison with the controls, we identified 321 differentially expressed transcripts in TNT treated worms, 32 in RDX treated worms, and only 6 in mixture treated worms. Of the 329 unique differentially expressed transcripts, 294 were affected only by TNT, 24 were common to both TNT and RDX treatments, and 3 were common to all treatments. The reduced effects on gene expression in the mixture exposure suggest that RDX might interact in an antagonistic manner with TNT at the gene expression level. The disagreement between gene expression and reproduction results may be attributed to sampling time, absence of known reproduction-related genes, and lack of functional information for many differentially expressed transcripts. A gene potentially related to reproduction (echinonectin) was significantly depressed in TNT or RDX exposed worms and may be linked to reduced fecundity.<h4>Conclusions</h4>Sublethal doses of TNT and RDX affected many biological pathways from innate immune response to oogenesis, leading to reduced reproduction without affecting survival and growth. A complex interaction between mixtures of RDX and TNT was observed at the gene expression level that requires further study of the dynamics of gene expression and reproductive activities in E. fetida. These efforts will be essential to gain an understanding of the additive reproductive toxicity between RDX and TNT.
Project description:In annelid worms, the nerve cord serves as a crucial organ to control the sensory and behavioral physiology. The inadequate genome resource of earthworms has prioritized the comprehensive analysis of their transcriptome dataset to monitor the genes express in the nerve cord and predict their role in the neurotransmission and sensory perception of the species. The present study focuses on identifying the potential transcripts and predicting their functional features by annotating the transcriptome dataset of nerve cord tissues prepared by Gong et al., 2010 from the earthworm Eisenia fetida. Totally 9762 transcripts were successfully annotated against the NCBI nr database using the BLASTX algorithm and among them 7680 transcripts were assigned to a total of 44,354 GO terms. The conserve domain analysis indicated the over representation of P-loop NTPase domain and calcium binding EF-hand domain. The COG functional annotation classified 5860 transcript sequences into 25 functional categories. Further, 4502 contig sequences were found to map with 124 KEGG pathways. The annotated contig dataset exhibited 22 crucial neuropeptides having considerable matches to the marine annelid Platynereis dumerilii, suggesting their possible role in neurotransmission and neuromodulation. In addition, 108 human stem cell marker homologs were identified including the crucial epigenetic regulators, transcriptional repressors and cell cycle regulators, which may contribute to the neuronal and segmental regeneration. The complete functional annotation of this nerve cord transcriptome can be further utilized to interpret genetic and molecular mechanisms associated with neuronal development, nervous system regeneration and nerve cord function.