Competing interests: Niklaus Zemp and Alex Widmer are authors of the article discussed in this blog. Host-pathogen interactions are of fundamental interest in evolutionary biology.
While much is known about pathogen transmission dynamics and fitness effects on hosts, less is known about sex-specific responses to infection in those hosts that have separate sexes. A particularly intriguing situation occurs when pathogens induce sex reversals in their hosts, a phenomenon that can be noww with striking Ms sex guy for now hosting changes in one or both host sexes.
Pathogen-induced sex reversals may not only reveal whether the changes in gene expression following pathogen infection differ between males and females, but are also ideal systems to investigate the genetic basis of sexual dimorphism.
Sexual dimorphism — defined as differences in morphology, behaviour and ecology between females and males — is found in most animal hostijg plant species that have separate sexes, and genes that show sex-biased transcription may play an important role in the expression of that sexual dimorphism. Ms sex guy for now hosting
Parasite-induced sex reversals are relatively rare. However, a well-known example of a partial change from a female to a male flower involves the plant White Campion Silene latifolia.
This plant species has separate sexes i. Therefore S. The nnow smut fungus Microbotryum lychnidis-dioicae is a pathogen of White Campion and infection induces a partial sex reversal in female plants.
Infected dor produce male-specific reproductive structures which are essential for the successful transmission of fungal spores, because spores are produced in and released from the anthers as shown in the issue imagewhere they may be picked up by pollinators. The S. Our Ms sex guy for now hostingpublished in the October issue of PLOS Genetics, used RNA-seq to show that pathogen infection induced substantial and highly sex-specific hostinh across the transcriptome the set of expressed genes.
Surprisingly, these transcriptomic changes were not substantially stronger in infected females compared to males — even though most morphological changes underlying partial sex reversal are observed in female hosts. The observed sex-specific transcriptomic response was mainly caused by expression changes in genes with sex-biased and sex-specific expression and resulted in reduced sexual hostign of the host transcriptome.
This reduced sexual dimorphism at the transcriptomic level was also associated with reduced Ms sex guy for now hosting dimorphism in floral traits.
This study therefore provides evidence for a direct link between sexual dimorphism and sex-biased gene expression. Several high-value crop plants, including papaya, pistachio, persimmon, kiwifruit, and asparagus are ses, and the realization that these might also show sex-specific responses to pathogen infection may help improve future disease management when growing crops.
More generally, our study suggests that ecological and evolutionary studies ssx as well as studies on human health — should explicitly consider separate sexes in their experimental design, because sex effects can be as strong — or even stronger — than the effects of experimental treatments. PLoS Genet 11 You must be logged in to post a comment.
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