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Analysis of immune-related genes during Nora virus infection of Drosophila melanogaster using next generation sequencing

1 Biology Department, University of Nebraska at Kearney, Kearney, NE 68849, USA
2 Department of Genetics, Cell Biology and Anatomy, University of Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha, NE 68198, USA

Topical Section: Genomics for Virus Research

Drosophila melanogaster depends upon the innate immune system to regulate and combat viral infection. This is a complex, yet widely conserved process that involves a number of immune pathways and gene interactions. In addition, expression of genes involved in immunity are differentially regulated as the organism ages. This is particularly true for viruses that demonstrate chronic infection, as is seen with Nora virus. Nora virus is a persistent non-pathogenic virus that replicates in a horizontal manner in D. melanogaster. The genes involved in the regulation of the immune response to Nora virus infection are largely unknown. In addition, the temporal response of immune response genes as a result of infection has not been examined. In this study, D. melanogaster either infected with Nora virus or left uninfected were aged for 2, 10, 20 and 30 days. The RNA from these samples was analyzed by next generation sequencing (NGS) and the resulting immune-related genes evaluated by utilizing both the PANTHER and DAVID databases, as well as comparison to lists of immune related genes and FlyBase. The data demonstrate that Nora virus infected D. melanogaster exhibit an increase in immune related gene expression over time. In addition, at day 30, the data demonstrate that a persistent immune response may occur leading to an upregulation of specific immune response genes. These results demonstrate the utility of NGS in determining the potential immune system genes involved in Nora virus replication, chronic infection and involvement of antiviral pathways.
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Keywords Nora virus; immunity; Drosophila melanogaster ; RNA seq; next generation sequencing; immune-related genes

Citation: Wilfredo Lopez, Alexis M. Page, Darby J. Carlson, Brad L. Ericson, Matyas F. Cserhati, Chittibabu Guda, Kimberly A. Carlson. Analysis of immune-related genes during Nora virus infection of Drosophila melanogaster using next generation sequencing. AIMS Microbiology, 2018, 4(1): 123-139. doi: 10.3934/microbiol.2018.1.123


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