Etude des bases moléculaires du déterminisme sexuel et de la différenciation chez une espèce hétérogamétique femelle ZZ-ZW : Schistosoma mansoni

Abstract : Parasitic flatworms include more than 20.000 species that are mainly hermaphrodites. Among them, the hundred species of Schistosomatidae are intriguing because they are gonochoric. The acquisition of gonochorism in these species is supposed to provide genetic and functional advantages to adapt to their hosts: warm-blooded animals. Sex of schistosomes is genetically determined at the time of fertilization (i.e. ZW female heterogametic system). However, there is no phenotypic dimorphism through all the larval stages of its complex lifecycle: sexual dimorphism appears only in the definitive host. The molecular mechanisms triggering this late sexual differentiation remain unclear, and this is precisely the topic of our present work. We performed transcriptomic (RNA-Sequencing and quantitative-PCRs) and structural (ChIP-Sequencing) analyses at different stages of Schistosoma mansoni development. Here, we present data suggesting that the sexual differentiation relies on a combination of genetic and epigenetic factors. In a genetic point of view, we show a sex-associated expression of the DMRT genes (Double-sex and Mab-3 Related Transcription Factors) that are known to be involved in sex determination/differentiation through all the animal kingdom. In addition, we propose new potential sex-determining key genes and a pivotal role of host-pathogen interaction at the time of development. In a structural point of view, we highlight a dynamic status of dosage compensation in females and chromatin modifications in males. This intense remodeling reveals a specific transcriptomic strategy which optimizes male development and beyond that, schistosomes reproductive success.
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Marion Picard. Etude des bases moléculaires du déterminisme sexuel et de la différenciation chez une espèce hétérogamétique femelle ZZ-ZW : Schistosoma mansoni. Génétique. Université de Perpignan, 2015. Français. ⟨NNT : 2015PERP0032⟩. ⟨tel-01280876v2⟩

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