Down syndrome cell adhesion molecule 1: Testing for a role in insect immunity, behaviour and reproduction Journal Article

Author(s): Peuß, Robert; Wensing, Kristina U; Woestmann, Luisa; Eggert, Hendrik; Milutinović, Barbara; Sroka, Marlene G U; Scharsack, Jörn P; Kurtz, Joachim; Armitage, Sophie A
Article Title: Down syndrome cell adhesion molecule 1: Testing for a role in insect immunity, behaviour and reproduction
Affiliation IST Austria
Abstract: Down syndrome cell adhesion molecule 1 (Dscam1) has widereaching and vital neuronal functions although the role it plays in insect and crustacean immunity is less well understood. In this study, we combine different approaches to understand the roles that Dscam1 plays in fitness-related contexts in two model insect species. Contrary to our expectations, we found no short-term modulation of Dscam1 gene expression after haemocoelic or oral bacterial exposure in Tribolium castaneum, or after haemocoelic bacterial exposure in Drosophila melanogaster. Furthermore, RNAi-mediated Dscam1 knockdown and subsequent bacterial exposure did not reduce T. castaneum survival. However, Dscam1 knockdown in larvae resulted in adult locomotion defects, as well as dramatically reduced fecundity in males and females. We suggest that Dscam1 does not always play a straightforward role in immunity, but strongly influences behaviour and fecundity. This study takes a step towards understanding more about the role of this intriguing gene from different phenotypic perspectives.
Keywords: Drosophila melanogaster; Locomotion; Dscam1; Fecundity; Immune defence; Tribolium castaneum
Journal Title: Royal Society Open Science
Volume: 3
Issue 4
ISSN: 2054-5703
Publisher: Royal Society, The  
Date Published: 2016-04-20
Start Page: Article number: 160138
Copyright Statement: CC BY 4.0
DOI: 10.1098/rsos.160138
Notes: We thank Dietmar Schmucker for reading a draft of this manuscript and thank him and his group for helpful discussions. We thank Barbara Hasert, Kevin Ferro and Manuel F. Talarico for technical support and helpful discussions. We also thank two anonymous reviewers for their comments. This study was supported by grants from the Volkswagen Stiftung (1/83 516 and AZ 86020: both to S.A.O.A.) and from the DFG priority programme 1399 ‘Host parasite coevolution’ (KU 1929/4-2 to R.P. and J.K.).
Open access: yes (OA journal)