The Molecular Mechanisms Employed by the Parasite Myxobolus bejeranoi (Cnidaria: Myxozoa) from Invasion through Sporulation for Successful Proliferation in Its Fish Host

Keren Maor-Landaw, Itamar Avidor, Nadav Rostowsky, Barbara Salti, Margarita Smirnov, Maya Ofek-Lalzar, Liron Levin, Vera Brekhman, Tamar Lotan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Myxozoa is a unique group of obligate endoparasites in the phylum Cnidaria that can cause emerging diseases in wild and cultured fish populations. Recently, we identified a new myxozoan species, Myxobolus bejeranoi, which infects the gills of cultured tilapia while suppressing host immunity. To uncover the molecular mechanisms underlying this successful parasitic strategy, we conducted transcriptomics analysis of M. bejeranoi throughout the infection. Our results show that histones, which are essential for accelerated cell division, are highly expressed even one day after invasion. As the infection progressed, conserved parasitic genes that are known to modulate the host immune reaction in different parasitic taxa were upregulated. These genes included energy-related glycolytic enzymes, as well as calreticulin, proteases, and miRNA biogenesis proteins. Interestingly, myxozoan calreticulin formed a distinct phylogenetic clade apart from other cnidarians, suggesting a possible function in parasite pathogenesis. Sporogenesis was in its final stages 20 days post-exposure, as spore-specific markers were highly expressed. Lastly, we provide the first catalog of transcription factors in a Myxozoa species, which is minimized compared to free-living cnidarians and is dominated by homeodomain types. Overall, these molecular insights into myxozoan infection support the concept that parasitic strategies are a result of convergent evolution.

Original languageEnglish
Article number12824
JournalInternational Journal of Molecular Sciences
Volume24
Issue number16
DOIs
StatePublished - 15 Aug 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 by the authors.

Keywords

  • Myxozoa
  • calreticulin
  • histone
  • infection
  • parasite
  • sporogenesis
  • tilapia
  • transcriptome

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Spectroscopy
  • Catalysis
  • Inorganic Chemistry
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry

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