The acute transcriptional response of the coral Acropora millepora to immune challenge: expression of GiMAP/IAN genes links the innate immune responses of corals with those of mammals and plants

Weiss, Yvonne, Forêt, Sylvain, Hayward, David C., Ainsworth, Tracy, King, Rob, Ball, Eldon E., and Miller, David J. (2013) The acute transcriptional response of the coral Acropora millepora to immune challenge: expression of GiMAP/IAN genes links the innate immune responses of corals with those of mammals and plants. BMC Genomics, 14. 400. pp. 1-12.

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Abstract

Background: As a step towards understanding coral immunity we present the first whole transcriptome analysis of the acute responses of Acropora millepora to challenge with the bacterial cell wall derivative MDP and the viral mimic poly I:C, defined immunogens provoking distinct but well characterised responses in higher animals.

Results: These experiments reveal similarities with the responses both of arthropods and mammals, as well as coral-specific effects. The most surprising finding was that MDP specifically induced three members of the GiMAP gene family, which has been implicated in immunity in mammals but is absent from Drosophila and Caenorhabditis. Like their mammalian homologs, GiMAP genes are arranged in a tandem cluster in the coral genome.

Conclusions: A phylogenomic survey of this gene family implies ancient origins, multiple independent losses and lineage-specific expansions during animal evolution. Whilst functional convergence cannot be ruled out, GiMAP expression in corals may reflect an ancestral role in immunity, perhaps in phagolysosomal processing.

Item ID: 29059
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1471-2164
Keywords: Innate immunity, evolution, GTPase, coral disease, Cnidaria, transcriptomics
Additional Information:

© 2013 Weiss et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Funders: Australian Research Council (ARC), ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies, James Cook University (JCU)
Projects and Grants: ARC Discovery Grant #DP1095343
Research Data: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/bioproject/200542
Date Deposited: 28 Aug 2013 05:31
FoR Codes: 06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0602 Ecology > 060205 Marine and Estuarine Ecology (incl Marine Ichthyology) @ 20%
06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0603 Evolutionary Biology > 060305 Evolution of Developmental Systems @ 80%
SEO Codes: 97 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 970106 Expanding Knowledge in the Biological Sciences @ 100%
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