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Sex, offspring and carcass determine antimicrobial peptide expression in the burying beetle

Title data

Jacobs, Chris G.C. ; Steiger, Sandra ; Heckel, David G. ; Wielsch, Natalie ; Vilcinskas, Aandreas ; Vogel, Heiko:
Sex, offspring and carcass determine antimicrobial peptide expression in the burying beetle.
In: Scientific Reports. Vol. 6 (2016) . - No. 25409.
ISSN 2045-2322
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1038/srep25409

Abstract in another language

The burying beetle Nicrophorus vespilloides has emerged as a model system for the investigation of adaptations that allow the utilization of carrion as a diet and as a resource for reproduction. The survival of beetles and their offspring given their exposure to soil-dwelling and cadaver-borne microbes requires mechanisms that reduce bacterial contamination in the diet and that achieve sanitation of the microhabitat. To explore the role of antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) in this context, we analyzed burying beetle males and females at different stages of their breeding cycle using the RNA-Seq and proteomics approaches. To address variation in immune functions, we investigated the impact of adult sex, the presence or absence of offspring (social context), and the presence of carrion (environmental context) on the expression of the identified immune effector genes. We found that particular AMPs are sex-specific and tightly regulated by the presence of a carcass or offspring and identified the two most context-dependent antimicrobial proteins in anal secretions. The context-specific expression dynamics of particular AMPs and lysozymes reveals a complex regulatory system, reflecting adaptations to specific ecological niches. This study highlights how burying beetles cope with microorganisms found on carrion and identifies candidates for both internal and external immunity.

Further data

Item Type: Article in a journal
Refereed: Yes
Additional notes: BAYCEER147505
Institutions of the University: Faculties > Faculty of Biology, Chemistry and Earth Sciences
Faculties > Faculty of Biology, Chemistry and Earth Sciences > Department of Biology > Chair Animal Ecology II - Evolutionary Animal Ecology > Chair Animal Ecology II - Evolutionary Animal Ecology - Univ.-Prof. Dr. Sandra Steiger
Research Institutions
Research Institutions > Research Centres
Research Institutions > Research Centres > Bayreuth Center of Ecology and Environmental Research- BayCEER
Result of work at the UBT: No
DDC Subjects: 500 Science
Date Deposited: 09 Apr 2019 06:07
Last Modified: 09 Apr 2019 06:07
URI: https://eref.uni-bayreuth.de/id/eprint/48339