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  Experimental parasite infection causes genome-wide changes in DNA methylation

Sagonas, K., Meyer, B. S., Kaufmann, J., Lenz, T. L., Häsler, R., & Eizaguirre, C. (2020). Experimental parasite infection causes genome-wide changes in DNA methylation. Molecular Biology and Evolution, 37(8), 2287-2299. doi:10.1093/molbev/msaa084.

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Item Permalink: http://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0006-B170-3 Version Permalink: http://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0006-FE7F-F
Genre: Journal Article

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Sagonas, Kostas1, Author
Meyer, Britta S.1, Author              
Kaufmann, Joshka1, Author              
Lenz, Tobias L.2, Author              
Häsler, Robert, Author
Eizaguirre, Christophe1, Author              
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1External Organizations, ou_persistent22              
2Research Group Evolutionary Immunogenomics, Department Evolutionary Ecology, Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Biology, Max Planck Society, ou_2068286              

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 Abstract: Parasites are arguably among the strongest drivers of natural selection, constraining hosts to evolve resistance and tolerance mechanisms. Although, the genetic basis of adaptation to parasite infection has been widely studied, little is known about how epigenetic changes contribute to parasite resistance and eventually, adaptation. Here, we investigated the role of host DNA methylation modifications to respond to parasite infections. In a controlled infection experiment, we used the three-spined stickleback fish, a model species for host–parasite studies, and their nematode parasite Camallanus lacustris. We showed that the levels of DNA methylation are higher in infected fish. Results furthermore suggest correlations between DNA methylation and shifts in key fitness and immune traits between infected and control fish, including respiratory burst and functional trans-generational traits such as the concentration of motile sperm. We revealed that genes associated with metabolic, developmental, and regulatory processes (cell death and apoptosis) were differentially methylated between infected and control fish. Interestingly, genes such as the neuropeptide FF receptor 2 and the integrin alpha 1 as well as molecular pathways including the Th1 and Th2 cell differentiation were hypermethylated in infected fish, suggesting parasite-mediated repression mechanisms of immune responses. Altogether, we demonstrate that parasite infection contributes to genome-wide DNA methylation modifications. Our study brings novel insights into the evolution of vertebrate immunity and suggests that epigenetic mechanisms are complementary to genetic responses against parasite-mediated selection.

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Language(s): eng - English
 Dates: 2020-03-30
 Publication Status: Published online
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 Identifiers: DOI: 10.1093/molbev/msaa084
BibTex Citekey: 10.1093/molbev/msaa084
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Title: Molecular Biology and Evolution
  Other : Mol. Biol. Evol.
Source Genre: Journal
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Publ. Info: Oxford : Oxford University Press
Pages: - Volume / Issue: 37 (8) Sequence Number: - Start / End Page: 2287 - 2299 Identifier: ISSN: 0737-4038
CoNE: https://pure.mpg.de/cone/journals/resource/954925536119