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The within-host dynamics of infection in trans-generationally primed flour beetles

Author(s): Tate, Ann T.; Andolfatto, Peter; Demuth, Jeffery P.; Graham, Andrea L.

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Abstract: Many taxa exhibit plastic immune responses initiated after primary microbial exposure that provide increased protection against disease-induced mortality and the fitness costs of infection. In several arthropod species, this protection can even be passed from parents to offspring through a phenomenon called trans-generational immune priming. Here, we first demonstrate that trans-generational priming is a repeatable phenomenon in flour beetles (Tribolium castaneum) primed and infected with Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt). We then quantify the within-host dynamics of microbes and host physiological responses in infected offspring from primed and unprimed mothers by monitoring bacterial density and using mRNA-seq to profile host gene expression, respectively, over the acute infection period. We find that priming increases inducible resistance against Bt around a critical temporal juncture where host septicemic trajectories, and consequently survival, may be determined in unprimed individuals. Our results identify a highly differentially expressed biomarker of priming, containing an EIF4-e domain, in uninfected individuals, as well as several other candidate genes. Moreover, the induction and decay dynamics of gene expression over time suggest a metabolic shift in primed individuals. The identified bacterial and gene expression dynamics are likely to influence patterns of bacterial fitness and disease transmission in natural populations.
Publication Date: Jul-2017
Electronic Publication Date: 4-Apr-2017
Citation: Tate, Ann T., Andolfatto, Peter, Demuth, Jeffery P., Graham, Andrea L. (2017). The within-host dynamics of infection in trans-generationally primed flour beetles. Molecular Ecology, 26 (14), 3794 - 3807. doi:10.1111/mec.14088
DOI: doi:10.1111/mec.14088
ISSN: 0962-1083
Pages: 3794 - 3807
Type of Material: Journal Article
Journal/Proceeding Title: Molecular Ecology
Version: Author's manuscript

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