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Transcriptomic analysis of genes related to biomineralization and motility in myxozoan parasites of fish

Grant number: 21/06692-8
Support Opportunities:Scholarships abroad - Research Internship - Post-doctor
Effective date (Start): January 01, 2022
Effective date (End): December 31, 2022
Field of knowledge:Agronomical Sciences - Fishery Resources and Fishery Engineering - Inland Water Fishery Resources
Principal Investigator:Edson Aparecido Adriano
Grantee:Maria Isabel Muller Formico
Supervisor: Stephen Douglas Atkinson
Host Institution: Instituto de Ciências Ambientais, Químicas e Farmacêuticas (ICAQF). Universidade Federal de São Paulo (UNIFESP). Campus Diadema. Diadema , SP, Brazil
Research place: Oregon State University (OSU), United States  
Associated to the scholarship:17/16546-3 - Systematic and distribution of myxosporeans of Potamotrygonidae (Elasmobranchii, Myliobatiformes) in Amazon, Platina and Parnaíba river basins., BP.PD


Myxozoa is a diverse group of fish parasites, related to jellyfish and corals (Phylum Cnidaria). Compared with their free-living cousins, myxozoans are miniaturized, morphologically simplified, and have evolved a complex parasitic life cycle involving vertebrate and invertebrate hosts. Transmission between invertebrate and vertebrate hosts is via resistant spore stages composed of rigid outer valve cells, which protect the inner infective cells against adverse external environmental conditions. The rigid valve cell structure in Myxozoa may be supported by biomineralization, possibly involving silicon, unlike their free-living cnidarian relatives, which use calcium. When they encounter a host, myxozoan spores fire their nematocysts, the valve cells split, and the motile sporoplasm invades the host. Myxozoans have motility at the cellular and sometimes at whole organism level. This active movement is required for invasion, migration through host tissues, and immune system evasion as the parasite multiplies in the host. Herein, our proposal is to develop transcriptomic datasets for Brazilian fish parasites Ceratomyxa sp., and Henneguya piaractus to explore the genetic underpinnings of their life cycles and pathologies. Specifically, we will identify then conduct phylogenetic analyses of biomineralization genes of these Brazilian myxosporeans with other myxozoans and from free-living Cnidaria to elucidate evolutionary signals for these genes, and discover host-parasite-tissue correlations. (AU)

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