• Warm Temperatures, Cool Sponges: The Effect of Increased Temperatures on the Antarctic Sponge Isodictya sp

      González-Aravena, M.; Kenny, N.J.; Osorio, M.; Font, A.; Riesgo, A.; Cárdenas, C.A. (bioRxiv, 2019-08-06)
      Although the cellular and molecular responses to exposure to relatively high temperatures (acute thermal stress or heat shock) have been studied previously, only sparse empirical evidence of how it affects cold-water species is available. As climate change becomes more pronounced in areas such as the Western Antarctic Peninsula, it has become crucial to understand the capacity of these species to respond to thermal stress. Here we use the Antarctic sponge Isodictya sp. to investigate how sessile organisms (particularly Porifera) can adjust to acute short-term heat stress, by exposing this species to 3 and 5 °C for 4 hours, corresponding to predicted temperatures under high-end 2080 IPCC-SRES scenarios. Assembling a de novo reference transcriptome (90,188 contigs, >93.7% metazoan BUSCO genes) we have begun to discern the molecular response employed by Isodictya to adjust to environmental insult. Our initial analyses suggest that TGF-β, ubiquitin and hedgehog cascades are involved, alongside other genes. However, the degree and type of response changed little from 3 to 5 °C, suggesting that even moderate rises in temperature could cause stress at the limits of this organism’s capacity. Given the importance of sponges to Antarctic ecosystems, our findings are vital for discerning the consequences of increases in Antarctic ocean temperature on these and other species.
    • Whipworms in humans and pigs: origins and demography

      Hawash, MBF; Betson, M; Al-Jubury, A; Ketzis, J; LeeWillingham, A; Bertelsen, MF; Cooper, PJ; Zhu, X-Q; Nejsum, P; Littlewood, T (2016-12)
    • Whole genome amplification and exome sequencing of archived schistosome miracidia

      Le Clec'h, W; Chevalier, FD; McDew-White, M; Allan, F; Webster, BL; Gouvras, AN; Kinunghi, S; Tchuem Tchuenté, L-A; Garba, A; Mohammed, KA; et al. (Cambridge University Press, 2018-05-28)
      Adult schistosomes live in the blood vessels and cannot easily be sampled from humans, so archived miracidia larvae hatched from eggs expelled in feces or urine are commonly used for population genetic studies. Large collections of archived miracidia on FTA cards are now available through the Schistosomiasis Collection at the Natural History Museum (SCAN). Here we describe protocols for whole genome amplification of Schistosoma mansoni and Schistosome haematobium miracidia from these cards, as well as real time PCR quantification of amplified schistosome DNA. We used microgram quantities of DNA obtained for exome capture and sequencing of single miracidia, generating dense polymorphism data across the exome. These methods will facilitate the transition from population genetics, using limited numbers of markers to population genomics using genome-wide marker information, maximising the value of collections such as SCAN.
    • Whole genome resequencing of the human parasite Schistosoma mansoni reveals population history and effects of selection

      Crellen, T; Allan, F; David, S; Durrant, C; Huckvale, T; Holroyd, N; Emery, AM; Rollinson, D; Aanensen, DM; Berriman, M; et al. (2016-08)