De novo assembly and annotation of Hyalomma dromedarii tick (Acari: Ixodidae) sialotranscriptome with regard to gender differences in gene expression

Background: Hard ticks are hematophagous ectoparasites characterized by their long-term feeding. The saliva that they secrete during their blood meal is their crucial weapon against host-defense systems including hemostasis, inflammation and immunity. The anti-hemostatic, anti-inflammatory and immune-modulatory activities carried out by tick saliva molecules warrant their pharmacological investigation. The Hyalomma dromedarii Koch, 1844 tick is a common parasite of camels and probably the best adapted to deserts of all hard ticks. Like other hard ticks, the salivary glands of this tick may provide a rich source of many compounds whose biological activities interact directly with host system pathways. Female H. dromedarii ticks feed longer than males, thereby taking in more blood. To investigate the differences in feeding behavior as reflected in salivary compounds, we performed de novo assembly and annotation of H. dromedarii sialotranscriptome paying particular attention to variations in gender gene expression. Results: The quality-filtered Illumina sequencing reads deriving from a cDNA library of salivary glands led to the assembly of 15,342 transcripts. We deduced that the secreted proteins included: metalloproteases, glycine-rich proteins, mucins, anticoagulants of the mandanin family and lipocalins, among others. Expression analysis revealed differences in the expression of transcripts between male and female H. dromedarii that might explain the blood-feeding strategies employed by both genders. Conclusions: The annotated sialome of H. dromedarii helps understand the interaction of tick-host molecules during blood-feeding and can lead to the discovery of new pharmacologically active proteins of ticks of the genus Hyalomma.

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Bensaoud C, Nishiyama Junior MY, Ben Hamda C, Lichtenstein F, Oliveira UC, Faria F, et al. De novo assembly and annotation of Hyalomma dromedarii tick (Acari: Ixodidae) sialotranscriptome with regard to gender differences in gene expression. Parasites Vectors. 2018;11:314. doi:10.1186/s13071-018-2874-9.
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