Royal Decree: Gene Expression in Trans-Generationally Immune Primed Bumblebee Workers Mimics a Primary Immune Response

PloS One
Seth M BarribeauBen M Sadd

Abstract

Invertebrates lack the cellular and physiological machinery of the adaptive immune system, but show specificity in their immune response and immune priming. Functionally, immune priming is comparable to immune memory in vertebrates. Individuals that have survived exposure to a given parasite are better protected against subsequent exposures. Protection may be cross-reactive, but demonstrations of persistent and specific protection in invertebrates are increasing. This immune priming can cross generations ("trans-generational" immune priming), preparing offspring for the prevailing parasite environment. While these phenomena gain increasing support, the mechanistic foundations underlying such immune priming, both within and across generations, remain largely unknown. Using a transcriptomic approach, we show that exposing bumblebee queens with an injection of heat-killed bacteria, known to induce trans-generational immune priming, alters daughter (worker) gene expression. Daughters, even when unexposed themselves, constitutively express a core set of the genes induced upon direct bacterial exposure, including high expression of antimicrobial peptides, a beta-glucan receptor protein implicated in bacterial recognition and the indu...Continue Reading

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Related Concepts

Vertebrates
Gram-Positive Bacteria
Genes, Insect
Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction
Apis mellifera
Immune Response
Biochemical Pathway
Immune System
Nosema bombi
DSCAM gene

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