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Extensive inter- and intraspecific venom variation in (...)

Insect Biochem Mol Biol. 2013 Jul ;43(7):601-11
Extensive inter- and intraspecific venom variation in closely related parasites targeting the same host : The case of Leptopilina parasitoids of Drosophila.
Colinet D, Deleury E, Anselme C, Cazes D, Poulain J, Azema-Dossat C, Belghazi M, Gatti JL, Poirie M.

The arms race between immune suppressive parasites that produce virulence factors and hosts that evolve resistance to these factors is suggested to be a key driver for the diversification of both partners. However, little is known regarding the diversity of virulence factors in closely related parasites or the mechanisms underlying the variation of virulence. One of the best-described model to address this issue is the interaction between Leptopilina parasitic wasps and their Drosophila hosts, in which variation of virulence is well documented. Thanks to a combined transcriptomic and proteomic approach, we have identified the main secreted proteins in the venom of Leptopilina heterotoma (Gotheron strain, 66 proteins) and of two well-characterized strains of Leptopilina boulardi, ISm and ISy (65 and 49 proteins, respectively). Results revealed significant quantitative differences in venom components between the L. boulardi strains, in agreement with their different virulence properties. Strikingly, the two related Leptopilina species did not share any abundant venom protein. The main identified proteins in L. boulardi were RhoGAPs and serpins while an aspartylglucosaminidase was found abundant in L. heterotoma. The extensive quantitative variation observed between these species may be related with their use of different virulence strategies and/or to differences in their host range (specialist versus generalist). Altogether, our data suggests that parasitoid venom can quickly evolve, mainly through rapid changes in regulation of gene expression. It also evidences venom evolutionary processes largely described in other venomous animals i.e. the convergent recruitment of venom proteins between phylogenetically unrelated organisms, and the role of duplications in the emergence of multigenic families of virulence factors.


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