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The transcriptome of the avian malaria parasite Plasmodium ashfordi displays host-specific gene expression

Videvall, Elin LU ; Cornwallis, Charlie LU ; Ahrén, Dag LU ; Palinauskas, Vaidas; Valkiunas, Gediminas and Hellgren, Olof LU (2017) In Molecular Ecology
Abstract (Swedish)
Malaria parasites (Plasmodium spp.) include some of the world's most widespread and virulent pathogens. Our knowledge of the molecular mechanisms these parasites use to invade and exploit hosts other than mice and primates is, however, extremely limited. It is therefore imperative to characterize transcriptome-wide gene expression from non-model malaria parasites and how this varies across host individuals. Here, we used high-throughput Illumina RNA-sequencing on blood from wild-caught Eurasian siskins experimentally infected with a clonal strain of the avian malaria parasite Plasmodium ashfordi (lineage GRW2). By using a multi-step approach to filter out host transcripts, we successfully assembled the blood-stage transcriptome of P.... (More)
Malaria parasites (Plasmodium spp.) include some of the world's most widespread and virulent pathogens. Our knowledge of the molecular mechanisms these parasites use to invade and exploit hosts other than mice and primates is, however, extremely limited. It is therefore imperative to characterize transcriptome-wide gene expression from non-model malaria parasites and how this varies across host individuals. Here, we used high-throughput Illumina RNA-sequencing on blood from wild-caught Eurasian siskins experimentally infected with a clonal strain of the avian malaria parasite Plasmodium ashfordi (lineage GRW2). By using a multi-step approach to filter out host transcripts, we successfully assembled the blood-stage transcriptome of P. ashfordi. A total of 11 954 expressed transcripts were identified, and 7 860 were annotated with protein information. We quantified gene expression levels of all parasite transcripts across three hosts during two infection stages – peak and decreasing parasitemia. Interestingly, parasites from the same host displayed remarkably similar expression profiles during different infection stages, but showed large differences across hosts, indicating that P. ashfordi may adjust its gene expression to specific host individuals. We further show that the majority of transcripts are most similar to the human parasite Plasmodium falciparum, and a large number of red blood cell invasion genes were discovered, suggesting evolutionary conserved invasion strategies between mammalian and avian Plasmodium. The transcriptome of P. ashfordi and its host-specific gene expression advances our understanding of Plasmodium plasticity and is a valuable resource as it allows for further studies analysing gene evolution and comparisons of parasite gene expression. (Less)
Abstract
Malaria parasites (Plasmodium spp.) include some of the world's most widespread and virulent pathogens. Our knowledge of the molecular mechanisms these parasites use to invade and exploit hosts other than mice and primates is, however, extremely limited. It is therefore imperative to characterize transcriptome-wide gene expression from non-model malaria parasites and how this varies across host individuals. Here, we used high-throughput Illumina RNA-sequencing on blood from wild-caught Eurasian siskins experimentally infected with a clonal strain of the avian malaria parasite Plasmodium ashfordi (lineage GRW2). By using a multi-step approach to filter out host transcripts, we successfully assembled the blood-stage transcriptome of P.... (More)
Malaria parasites (Plasmodium spp.) include some of the world's most widespread and virulent pathogens. Our knowledge of the molecular mechanisms these parasites use to invade and exploit hosts other than mice and primates is, however, extremely limited. It is therefore imperative to characterize transcriptome-wide gene expression from non-model malaria parasites and how this varies across host individuals. Here, we used high-throughput Illumina RNA-sequencing on blood from wild-caught Eurasian siskins experimentally infected with a clonal strain of the avian malaria parasite Plasmodium ashfordi (lineage GRW2). By using a multi-step approach to filter out host transcripts, we successfully assembled the blood-stage transcriptome of P. ashfordi. A total of 11 954 expressed transcripts were identified, and 7 860 were annotated with protein information. We quantified gene expression levels of all parasite transcripts across three hosts during two infection stages – peak and decreasing parasitemia. Interestingly, parasites from the same host displayed remarkably similar expression profiles during different infection stages, but showed large differences across hosts, indicating that P. ashfordi may adjust its gene expression to specific host individuals. We further show that the majority of transcripts are most similar to the human parasite Plasmodium falciparum, and a large number of red blood cell invasion genes were discovered, suggesting evolutionary conserved invasion strategies between mammalian and avian Plasmodium. The transcriptome of P. ashfordi and its host-specific gene expression advances our understanding of Plasmodium plasticity and is a valuable resource as it allows for further studies analysing gene evolution and comparisons of parasite gene expression. (Less)
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author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
RNA-seq, host-parasite interaction
in
Molecular Ecology
publisher
Wiley-Blackwell
external identifiers
  • scopus:85017599261
  • wos:000402040000010
ISSN
0962-1083
DOI
10.1111/mec.14085
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
980dab26-f1cd-4ebb-9647-56bc23b52e87
date added to LUP
2017-03-15 16:33:00
date last changed
2018-10-14 04:38:05
@article{980dab26-f1cd-4ebb-9647-56bc23b52e87,
  abstract     = {Malaria parasites (Plasmodium spp.) include some of the world's most widespread and virulent pathogens. Our knowledge of the molecular mechanisms these parasites use to invade and exploit hosts other than mice and primates is, however, extremely limited. It is therefore imperative to characterize transcriptome-wide gene expression from non-model malaria parasites and how this varies across host individuals. Here, we used high-throughput Illumina RNA-sequencing on blood from wild-caught Eurasian siskins experimentally infected with a clonal strain of the avian malaria parasite Plasmodium ashfordi (lineage GRW2). By using a multi-step approach to filter out host transcripts, we successfully assembled the blood-stage transcriptome of P. ashfordi. A total of 11 954 expressed transcripts were identified, and 7 860 were annotated with protein information. We quantified gene expression levels of all parasite transcripts across three hosts during two infection stages – peak and decreasing parasitemia. Interestingly, parasites from the same host displayed remarkably similar expression profiles during different infection stages, but showed large differences across hosts, indicating that P. ashfordi may adjust its gene expression to specific host individuals. We further show that the majority of transcripts are most similar to the human parasite Plasmodium falciparum, and a large number of red blood cell invasion genes were discovered, suggesting evolutionary conserved invasion strategies between mammalian and avian Plasmodium. The transcriptome of P. ashfordi and its host-specific gene expression advances our understanding of Plasmodium plasticity and is a valuable resource as it allows for further studies analysing gene evolution and comparisons of parasite gene expression.},
  author       = {Videvall, Elin and Cornwallis, Charlie and Ahrén, Dag and Palinauskas, Vaidas and Valkiunas, Gediminas and Hellgren, Olof},
  issn         = {0962-1083},
  keyword      = {RNA-seq,host-parasite interaction},
  language     = {eng},
  month        = {03},
  publisher    = {Wiley-Blackwell},
  series       = {Molecular Ecology},
  title        = {The transcriptome of the avian malaria parasite Plasmodium ashfordi displays host-specific gene expression},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/mec.14085},
  year         = {2017},
}