Massively parallel amplicon sequencing reveals isotype-specific variability of antimicrobial peptide transcripts in mytilus galloprovincialis

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Background Effective innate responses against potential pathogens are essential in the living world and possibly contributed to the evolutionary success of invertebrates. Taken together, antimicrobial peptide (AMP) precursors of defensin, mytilin, myticin and mytimycin can represent about 40% of the hemocyte transcriptome in mussels injected with viral-like and bacterial preparations, and unique profiles of myticin C variants are expressed in single mussels. Based on amplicon pyrosequencing, we have ascertained and compared the natural and Vibrio-induced diversity of AMP transcripts in mussel hemocytes from three European regions. Methodology/Principal Findings Hemolymph was collected from mussels farmed in the coastal regions of Palavas (France), Vigo (Spain) and Venice (Italy). To represent the AMP families known in M. galloprovincialis, nine transcript sequences have been selected, amplified from hemocyte RNA and subjected to pyrosequencing. Hemolymph from farmed (offshore) and wild (lagoon) Venice mussels, both injected with 107 Vibrio cells, were similarly processed. Amplicon pyrosequencing emphasized the AMP transcript diversity, with Single Nucleotide Changes (SNC) minimal for mytilin B/C and maximal for arthropod-like defensin and myticin C. Ratio of non-synonymous vs. synonymous changes also greatly differed between AMP isotypes. Overall, each amplicon revealed similar levels of nucleotidic variation across geographical regions, with two main sequence patterns confirmed for mytimycin and no substantial changes after immunostimulation. Conclusions/Significance Barcoding and bidirectional pyrosequencing allowed us to map and compare the transcript diversity of known mussel AMPs. Though most of the genuine cds variation was common to the analyzed samples we could estimate from 9 to 106 peptide variants in hemolymph pools representing 100 mussels, depending on the AMP isoform and sampling site. In this study, no prevailing SNC patterns related to geographical origin or Vibrio injection emerged. Whether or not the contact with potential pathogens can increase the amount of AMP transcript variants in mussels requires additional study




Rosani, U., Varotto, L., Rossi, A., Roch, P., Novoa, B., Figueras, A., … Venier, P. (2011). Massively parallel amplicon sequencing reveals isotype-specific variability of antimicrobial peptide transcripts in mytilus galloprovincialis. PLoS ONE, 6(11).

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