Project 3: Male-female interaction
Male-female interaction in Schistosoma mansoni: Analysis of competence factors of males
Schistosomes exhibit an unusual reproductive biology. They belong to the few trematode species which have evolved two separate sexes. Furthermore, the sexual maturation of the female depends on the constant pairing contact with the male. With respect to the importance of the eggs as pathogenic agents of schistosomiasis and for the reproduction of the parasite a detailed knowledge of these processes is a promising starting point on the way to find alternative strategies fighting schistosomes1.
While several studies focused on the pairing-dependent development of the female reproductive organs as well as the involved genes and signaling processes, the influence of pairing on the male was neglected so far. Although male morphology seems to be unaffected upon pairing, actual transcriptome studies demonstrated a significant influence of pairing at the level of gene regulation including the gonads2,3,4.
Aim of this project is the characterization of pairing-dependently transcribed genes in the male with a focus on the identification of competence factors. These are genes by definition whose expression is essential for the induction of pairing and maturation processes in the female.
1Beckmann S, Quack T, Burmeister C, Buro C, Long T, Dissous C, Grevelding CG (2010).Parasitology 137(3):497-20.
2Leutner S, Oliveira KC, Rotter B, Beckmann S, Buro C, Hahnel S, Kitajima JP, Verjovski-Almeida S, Winter P, Grevelding CG (2013).. PLoS Negl Trop Dis. 7:e2532.
3Hahnel S, Quack T, Parker-Manuel SJ, Lu Z, Vanderstraete M, Morel M, Dissous C, Cailliau K, Grevelding CG (2014).. Front Genet. 5:170.
4LuZ, Sessler F, HolroydN, Hahnel S, Quack T, Berriman M, Grevelding CG (2016). Tissue-specific and pairing-dependent gene expression in the gonads of the blood fluke Schistosoma mansoni. Sci Rep. 6:31150.