5 years ago

Insights into deep-sea adaptations and host–symbiont interactions: A comparative transcriptome study on Bathymodiolus mussels and their coastal relatives

Xiaocheng Wang, Ping Zheng, Song Sun, Chaolun Li, Yan Sun, Minxiao Wang, Xiaoqing Sun
Mussels (Bivalve: Mytilidae) have adapted to various habitats, from fresh water to the deep sea. To understand their adaptive characteristics in different habitats, particularly in the bathymodiolin mussels in deep-sea chemosynthetic ecosystems, we conducted a comparative transcriptomic analysis between deep-sea bathymodiolin mussels and their shallow-water relatives. A number of gene families related to stress responses were shared across all mussels, without specific or significantly expanded families in deep-sea species, indicating that all mussels are capable of adapting to diverse harsh environments, but that different members of the same gene family may be preferentially utilized by different species. One of the most extraordinary trait of bathymodiolin mussels is their endosymbiosis. Lineage-specific and positively selected TLRs and highly expressed C1QDC proteins were identified in the gills of the bathymodiolins, suggesting their possible functions in symbiont recognition. However, pattern recognition receptors of the bathymodiolins were globally reduced, facilitating the invasion and maintenance of the symbionts obtained by either endocytosis or phagocytosis. Additionally, various transporters were positively selected or more highly expressed in the deep-sea mussels, indicating a means by which necessary materials could be provided for the symbionts. Key genes supporting lysosomal activity were also positively selected or more highly expressed in the deep-sea mussels, suggesting that nutrition fixed by the symbionts can be absorbed in a “farming” way wherein the symbionts are digested by lysosomes. Regulation of key physiological processes including lysosome activity, apoptosis and immune reactions is needed to maintain a stable host–symbiont relationship, but the mechanisms are still unclear.

Publisher URL: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/resolve/doi

DOI: 10.1111/mec.14160

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