Global transcriptome landscape of the rabbit protozoan parasite Eimeria stiedae
Yue Xie, Jie Xiao, Xuan Zhou, Xiaobin Gu, Ran He, Jing Xu, Bo Jing, Xuerong Peng and
Background: Coccidiosis caused by Eimeria stiedae is a widespread and economically significant disease of rabbits.The lack of studies on the life-cycle development and host interactions of E. stiedae at the molecular level has hampered our understanding of its pathogenesis.
Methods: In this study, we present a comprehensive transcriptome landscape of E. stiedae to illustrate its dynamic development from unsporulated oocysts to sporulated oocysts, merozoites, and gametocytes, and to identify genes related to parasite-host interactions during parasitism using combined PacBio single-molecule real-time and Illumina RNA sequencing followed by bioinformatics analysis and qRT-PCR validation.
Results: In total, 12,582 non-redundant full-length transcripts were generated with an average length of 1808 bp from the life-cycle stages of E. stiedae. Pairwise comparisons between stages revealed 8775 differentially expressed genes (DEGs) showing highly significant description changes, which compiled a snapshot of the mechanisms underlining asexual and sexual biology of E. stiedae including oocyst sporulation between unsporulated and sporulated oocysts; merozoite replication between sporulated oocysts and merozoites; and gametophyte development and gamete generation between merozoites and gametocytes. Further, 248 DEGs were grouped into nine series clusters and five groups by expression patterns, and showed that parasite–host interaction-related genes predominated in
merozoites and gametocytes and were mostly involved in steroid biosynthesis and lipid metabolism and carboxylic acid. Additionally, co-expression analyses identified genes associated with development and host invasion in unsporulated and sporulated oocysts and immune interactions during gametocyte parasitism.
Conclusions: This is the first study, to our knowledge, to use the global transcriptome profiles to decipher molecular changes across the E. stiedae life cycle, and these results not only provide important information for the molecular characterization of E. stiedae, but also offer valuable resources to study other apicomplexan parasites with veterinary and public significance.
copyright:© The Author(s)
Parasites Vectors (2021) 14:308.doi.10.1186/s13071-021-04811-5