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    Infection by the castrating parasitic nematode Sphaerularia bombi changes gene expression in Bombus terrestris bumblebee queens


    Colgan, Thomas J. and Carolan, James C. and Sumner, Seirian and Blaxter, Mark L. and Brown, Mark J.F. (2020) Infection by the castrating parasitic nematode Sphaerularia bombi changes gene expression in Bombus terrestris bumblebee queens. Insect Molecular Biology, 29 (2). pp. 170-182. ISSN 0962-1075

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    Abstract

    Parasitism can result in dramatic changes in host phenotype, which are themselves underpinned by genes and their expression. Understanding how hosts respond at the molecular level to parasites can therefore reveal the molecular architecture of an altered host phenotype. The entomoparasitic nematode Sphaerularia bombi is a parasite of bumblebee (Bombus) hosts where it induces complex behavioural changes and host castration. To examine this interaction at the molecular level, we performed genome-wide transcriptional profiling using RNA-Seq of S. bombi-infected Bombus terrestris queens at two critical time-points: during and just after overwintering diapause. We found that infection by S. bombi affects the transcription of genes underlying host biological processes associated with energy usage, translation, and circadian rhythm. We also found that the parasite affects the expression of immune genes, including members of the Toll signaling pathway providing evidence for a novel interaction between the parasite and the host immune response. Taken together, our results identify host biological processes and genes affected by an entomoparasitic nematode providing the first steps towards a molecular understanding of this ecologically important host-parasite interaction.

    Item Type: Article
    Additional Information: This is the preprint version of the published article, which is available at Colgan, T.J., Carolan, J.C., Sumner, S., Blaxter, M.L. and Brown, M.J.F. (2020), Infection by the castrating parasitic nematode Sphaerularia bombi changes gene expression in Bombus terrestris bumblebee queens. Insect Mol Biol, 29: 170-182. https://doi.org/10.1111/imb.12618
    Keywords: pollinator health; insect immunity; molecular parasitism; extended phenotype;
    Academic Unit: Faculty of Science and Engineering > Biology
    Item ID: 13513
    Identification Number: https://doi.org/10.1111/imb.12618
    Depositing User: James Carolan
    Date Deposited: 09 Nov 2020 15:25
    Journal or Publication Title: Insect Molecular Biology
    Publisher: Wiley
    Refereed: Yes
    URI:

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