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Lumbricin and its orthologue antimicrobial peptides were typically isolated from annelids. In this report, mRNA for lumbricin and -serendipitously- a novel lumbricin-related mRNA sequence were identified in Eisenia andrei earthworms. The determined mRNA sequences of E. andrei lumbricin and lumbricin-related peptide consist of 477 and 575 nucleotides. The precursors of proline-rich E. andrei lumbricin and the related peptide contain 63 and 59 amino acids, respectively. Phylogenetic analysis indicated close relationship with other annelid lumbricins. Highest expression of both mRNAs appeared in the proximal part of the intestine (pharynx, gizzard), while other tested organs had moderate (body wall, midgut, ovary, metanephridium, seminal vesicles, ventral nerve cord) or low (coelomocytes) levels. During ontogenesis their expression revealed continuous increase in embryos. Following 48 h of in vivo Gram-positive bacteria challenge both mRNAs were significantly elevated in coelomocytes, while Gram-negative bacteria or zymosan stimulation had no detectable effects.Characterization of lumbricin and a novel related peptide in Eisenia andrei.Ubiquitous lumbricin and LuRP mRNA expression in various tissues of E. andrei.Gradient elevation of lumbricin and LuRP mRNA level during Eisenia ontogenesis.In vivo Gram + bacteria challenge increases the lumbricin and LuRP expression.