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

TitleThe within-host dynamics of infection in trans-generationally primed flour beetles.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2017
AuthorsTate, AT, Andolfatto, P, Demuth, JP, Graham, AL
JournalMol Ecol
Date Published2017 Jul
KeywordsAnimals, Bacillus thuringiensis, Disease Resistance, Female, Transcriptome, Tribolium

<p>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 septicaemic 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.</p>

Alternate JournalMol Ecol
PubMed ID28277618
PubMed Central IDPMC5653231
Grant ListR01 GM083228 / GM / NIGMS NIH HHS / United States