The modulation effect of the Steinernema carpocapsae - Xenorhabdus nematophila complex on immune-related genes in Drosophila suzukii larvae

A. Garriga, D. Toubarro, N. Simões, A. Morton, F. García-del-Pino*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

Larvae of the invasive pest Drosophila suzukii are susceptible to the Steinernema carpocapsae – Xenorhabdus nematophila complex and an assessment of the immune-regulatory system activation in this insect was performed to understand the response to the nematode infection. The expressions of 14 immune-related genes of different pathways (Imd, Toll, Jak-STAT, ProPO, JNK, TGF-β) were analyzed using qRT-PCR to determine variations after nematode penetration (90 min and 4 h) and after bacterial release (14 h). Before the bacteria were present, the nematodes were not recognized by the immune system of the larvae and practically none of the analyzed pathways presented variations when compared with the non-infected larvae. However, after the X. nematophila were released, PGRP-LC was activated leading to the gene upregulation of antimicrobial peptides of both the Toll and Imd pathways. Interestingly, the cellular response was inactive during the infection course as Jak/STAT and pro-phenoloxidase genes remained unresponsive to the presence of both pathogens. These results illustrate how D. suzukii immune pathways responded differently to the nematode and bacteria along the infection course.

Original languageEnglish
Article number107870
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Invertebrate Pathology
Volume196
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2023

Keywords

  • Drosophila
  • Entomopathogenic nematodes
  • Gene expression
  • Immune response

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