Systemic RNAi mediated gene silencing in the anhydrobiotic nematode Panagrolaimus superbus

Shannon, A.J., Tyson, T., Dix, I., Boyd, J. ORCID: 0000-0002-0677-1450 and Burnell, A.M., 2008. Systemic RNAi mediated gene silencing in the anhydrobiotic nematode Panagrolaimus superbus. BMC Molecular Biology, 9 (1), p. 58. ISSN 1471-2199

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Abstract

Background: Gene silencing by RNA interference (RNAi) is a powerful tool for functional genomics. Although RNAi was first described in Caenorhabditis elegans, several nematode species are unable to mount an RNAi response when exposed to exogenous double stranded RNA (dsRNA). These include the satellite model organisms Pristionchus pacificus and Oscheius tipulae. Available data also suggest that the RNAi path way targeting exogenous dsRNA may not be fully functional in some animal parasitic nematodes. The genus Panagrolaimus contains bacterial feeding nematodes which occupy a diversity of niches ranging from polar, temperate and semi-arid soils to terrestrial mosses. Thus many Panagrolaimus species are adapted to tolerate freezing and desiccation and are excellent systems to study the molecular basis of environmental stress tolerance. We inve stigated whether Panagrolaimus is susceptible to RNAi to determine whether this nematode could be used in large scale RNAi studies in functional genomics.

Results: We studied two species: Panagrolaimus sp. PS1159 and Panagrolaimus superbus. Both nematode species displayed embryonic lethal RNAi phenotypes following ingestion of Escherichia coli expressing dsRNA for the C. elegans embryonic lethal genes Ce-lmn-1 and Ce-ran-4. Embryonic lethal RNAi phenotypes were also obtained in both species upon ingestion of dsRNA for the Panagrolaimus genes ef1b and rps-2. Single nematode RT-PCR showed that a significant reduction in mRNA transcript levels occurred for the target ef1b and rps-2 genes in RNAi treated Panagrolaimus sp. 1159 nematodes. Visible RNAi phe notypes were also observed when P. superbus was exposed to dsRNA for structural genes encoding contractile proteins. All RNAi phenotypes were highly penetrant, particularly in P. superbus.

Conclusion: This demonstration that Panagrolaimus is amenable to RNAi by feeding will allow the development of high throughput methods of RNAi screening for P. superbus. This greatly enhances the utility of this nematode as a model system for the study of the molecular biology of anhydrobiosis and cryobiosis and as a possible satellite model nematode for comparative and functional genomics. Our data al so identify another nematode infraorder which is amenable to RNAi and provide additional information on the diversity of RNAi phenotypes in nematodes.

Item Type: Journal article
Publication Title: BMC Molecular Biology
Creators: Shannon, A.J., Tyson, T., Dix, I., Boyd, J. and Burnell, A.M.
Publisher: Springer/BioMed Central
Date: 2008
Volume: 9
Number: 1
ISSN: 1471-2199
Identifiers:
NumberType
10.1186/1471-2199-9-58DOI
Divisions: Schools > School of Animal, Rural and Environmental Sciences
Record created by: EPrints Services
Date Added: 09 Oct 2015 10:51
Last Modified: 08 Feb 2022 09:29
URI: http://irep.ntu.ac.uk/id/eprint/19046

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