Identification of differentially expressed genes from multipotent epithelia at the onset of an asexual development
Helm, Rebecca R.
Copley, Richard R.
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Organisms that have evolved alternative modes of reproduction, complementary to the sexual mode, are found across metazoans. The chordate Botryllus schlosseri is an emerging model for asexual development studies. Botryllus can rebuild its entire body from a portion of adult epithelia in a continuous and stereotyped process called blastogenesis. Anatomy and ontogenies of blastogenesis are well described, however molecular signatures triggering this developmental process are entirely unknown. We isolated tissues at the site of blastogenesis onset and from the same epithelia where this process is never triggered. We linearly amplified an ultra-low amount of mRNA (<10ng) and generated three transcriptome datasets. To provide a conservative landscape of transcripts differentially expressed between blastogenic vs. non-blastogenic epithelia we compared three different mapping and analysis strategies with a de novo assembled transcriptome and partially assembled genome as references, additionally a self-mapping strategy on the dataset. A subset of differentially expressed genes were analyzed and validated by in situ hybridization. The comparison of different analyses allowed us to isolate stringent sets of target genes, including transcripts with potential involvement in the onset of a non-embryonic developmental pathway. The results provide a good entry point to approach regenerative event in a basal chordate.
© The Author(s), 2016. This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License. The definitive version was published in Scientific Reports 6 (2016): 27357, doi:10.1038/srep27357.
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