Strain Variation in the Transcriptome of the Dengue Fever Vector, Aedes aegypti
Published Web Locationhttps://doi.org/10.1534/g3.111.001107
Studies of transcriptome dynamics provide a basis for understanding functional elements of the genome and the complexity of gene regulation. The dengue vector mosquito, Aedes aegypti, exhibits great adaptability to diverse ecological conditions, is phenotypically polymorphic, and shows variation in vectorial capacity to arboviruses. Previous genome sequencing showed richness in repetitive DNA and transposable elements that can contribute to genome plasticity. Population genetic studies revealed a varying degree of worldwide genetic polymorphism. However, the extent of functional genetic polymorphism across strains is unknown. The transcriptomes of three Ae. aegypti strains, Chetumal (CTM), Rexville D-Puerto Rico (Rex-D) and Liverpool (LVP), were compared. CTM is more susceptible than Rex- D to infection by dengue virus serotype 2. A total of 4188 transcripts exhibit either no or small variation (<2-fold) among sugar-fed samples of the three strains and between sugar- and blood-fed samples within each strain, corresponding most likely to genes encoding products necessary for vital functions. Transcripts enriched in blood-fed mosquitoes encode proteins associated with catalytic activities, molecular transport, metabolism of lipids, carbohydrates and amino acids, and functions related to blood digestion and the progression of the gonotropic cycle. Significant qualitative and quantitative differences were found in individual transcripts among strains including differential representation of paralogous gene products. The majority of immunity-associated transcripts decreased in accumulation after a bloodmeal and the results are discussed in relation to the different susceptibility of CTM and Rex-D mosquitoes to DENV2 infection.