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Function of Nanos1 gene in the development of reproductive organs of Schistosoma japonicum

Liu, Quan, Zhu, Lulu, Liu, Fengchun, Hua, Mengqing, Ding, Han, He, Siyu, Ren, Cuiping, Liu, Miao, Shen, Jijia
Parasitology research 2017 v.116 no.5 pp. 1505-1513
RNA interference, Schistosoma japonicum, confocal laser scanning microscopy, egg production, eggs, females, gene expression, genes, genitalia, germ cells, in situ hybridization, males, messenger RNA, parasites, small interfering RNA, testes
Nanos is a necessary factor in the differentiation and migration of primordial germ cells. It is closely associated with the development of genitalia in a wide range of species. We questioned whether Nanos was involved in the reproductive organ development of Schistosoma japonicum. Firstly, by in situ hybridization, S. japonicum Nanos1 (SjNanos1) gene was expressed mainly in reproductive organs of S. japonicum. Then, the paired schistosome of 28 days post-infection (dpi) was transfected with SjNanos1 small interfering RNA three times and cultured in vitro for 10 days. SjNanos1 expression suppression in the mRNA and protein levels were confirmed compared to that of the controls. The morphological changes in reproductive organs and egg production were observed after SjNanos1 gene knockdown. The results observed by confocal laser scanning microscopy showed significant changes in the morphology of reproductive organs of parasites, especially the female ovaries, vitellarium, and the male testes, after RNAi. In addition, SjNanos1 silencing also induced the reduction of eggs, and affected the changes of reproduction-related genes, like Pumilio, CNOT6L, and Fs800. Therefore, our findings demonstrate that the SjNanos1 gene is essential in the development of reproductive organs and the egg production of S. japonicum.