Project description:Two new megadrile earthworms from the steppes, the first species wholly from Outer Mongolia, are ascribed to the partially parthenogenetic Eisenia nordenskioldi (Eisen, 1879) species-complex. Taxonomic justification of sympatric Eisenia nordenskioldi mongol and Eisenia nordenskioldi onon ssp. n. are supported by mtDNA COI barcodes. The unreliability of molecular differentiation based on voucher names compared to definitive types is again demonstrated, as pertains to the ultimate Eisenia andrei Bouché, 1972 synonym of the Eisenia fetida (Savigny, 1826) sibling species-complex composed of more than a dozen prior names. Similar species described from Northeast China [formerly Manchuria] and North Korea are briefly considered, albeit they are intermittently held in synonymy of cosmopolitan Aporrectodea rosea (Savigny, 1826) along with many other taxa including some exotic lumbricids initially found in India. Japanese and North American lumbricids are also mentioned. Distributions are discussed and an annotated checklist of all nine Siberian/sub-arctic Eisenia nordenskioldi ssp. is appended.
Project description:Yong Hong and Csaba Csuzdi (2016) The earthworm fauna of the Korean peninsula, especially the Northern part (Democratic People's Republic of Korea) is still poorly known. Altogether 148 earthworm taxa are reported from Korea of which 22, including some uncertain records, belong to the Holarctic family Lumbricidae. From these 22 lumbricid taxa only eight are thought to be autochthonous, including the widely distributed Eisenia nordenskioldi species group which consists of six highly diverged DNA lineages. Due to a lack of material, the phylogenetic affinities of the Korean E. nordenskioldi s.l. specimens have not been determined so far. Here we report on the first lumbricid records from the Northern part of the peninsula (DPRK) after the description of the endemic earthworm species Eisenia koreana (Zicsi, 1972) together with a redescription of its type specimens. The supposedly autochthonous Eisenia nordenskioldi species group is briefly reviewed and the specimens collected recently in South Korea (Republic of Korea) were DNA barcoded and compared to the published lineages from Siberia (Russia). The redescription of the type specimen of Eiseniella koreana confirmed its inclusion in the genus Eisenia. Barcoding of the unpigmented Korean E. nordenskioldi specimens revealed that they form an independent clade placed quite far from the previously published unpigmented E. nordenskioldi forms and might represent a distinct species.
Project description:Survival of earthworms in the environment depends on their ability to recognize and eliminate potential pathogens. This work is aimed to compare the innate defense mechanisms of two closely related earthworm species, Eisenia andrei and Eisenia fetida, that inhabit substantially different ecological niches. While E. andrei lives in a compost and manure, E. fetida can be found in the litter layer in forests. Therefore, the influence of environment-specific microbiota on the immune response of both species was followed. Firstly, a reliable method to discern between E. andrei and E. fetida based on species-specific primers for cytochrome c oxidase I (COI) and stringent PCR conditions was developed. Secondly, to analyze the immunological profile in both earthworm species, the activity and expression of lysozyme, pattern recognition protein CCF, and antimicrobial proteins with hemolytic function, fetidin and lysenins, have been assessed. Whereas, CCF and lysozyme showed only slight differences in the expression and activity, fetidin/lysenins expression as well as the hemolytic activity was considerably higher in E. andrei as compared to E. fetida. The expression of fetidin/lysenins in E. fetida was not affected upon the challenge with compost microbiota, suggesting more substantial changes in the regulation of the gene expression. Genomic DNA analyses revealed significantly higher level of fetidin/lysenins (determined using universal primer pairs) in E. andrei compared to E. fetida. It can be hypothesized that E. andrei colonizing compost as a new habitat acquired an evolutionary selection advantage resulting in a higher expression of antimicrobial proteins.
Project description:Coelomic fluid of Eisenia andrei contains a number of UV-fluorescent compounds. In the present study we have found that four of these compounds showed identical fluorescence excitation and emission maxima at 310 nm and 364 nm, respectively, suggesting they share the same chromophore. NMR and HR-MS spectroscopy of the most abundant fluorophore reavealed that its molecule is composed of two quinazoline-2,4-dione rings connected by spermine linker. This compound was earlier indentified in Eisenia andrei as SP-8203. Moreover, we have identified the structure of the two other fluorophores, one differing from SP-8203 by the absence of N-acetyl group, the compound not reported in any other organisms before, and the other already found in E. fetida and regarded as species specific. However, our results indicate that this metabolite is also present in E. andrei in significant amounts. The possible origin and function of these new metabolites is discussed.
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:Iron homeostasis in cells is regulated by iron regulatory proteins (IRPs) that exist in different organisms. IRPs are cytosolic proteins that bind to iron-responsive elements (IREs) of the 5'- or 3'-untranslated regions (UTR) of mRNAs that encode many proteins involved in iron metabolism. In this study, we have cloned and described a new regulatory protein belonging to the family of IRPs from the earthworm Eisenia andrei (EaIRP). The earthworm IRE site in 5'-UTR of ferritin mRNA most likely folds into a secondary structure that differs from the conventional IRE structures of ferritin due to the absence of a typically unpaired cytosine that participates in protein binding. Prepared recombinant EaIRP and proteins from mammalian liver extracts are able to bind both mammalian and Eisenia IRE structures of ferritin mRNA, although the affinity of the rEaIRP/Eisenia IRE structure is rather low. This result suggests the possible contribution of a conventional IRE structure. When IRP is supplemented with a Fe-S cluster, it can function as a cytosolic aconitase. Cellular cytosolic and mitochondrial fractions, as well as recombinant EaIRP, exhibit aconitase activity that can be abolished by the action of oxygen radicals. The highest expression of EaIRP was detected in parts of the digestive tract. We can assume that earthworms may possess an IRE/IRP regulatory network as a potential mechanism for maintaining cellular iron homeostasis, although the aconitase function of EaIRP is most likely more relevant.
Project description: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.