In the shadow: The emerging role of long non-coding RNAs in the immune response of Atlantic salmon

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Abstract

The genomic era has increased the research effort to uncover how the genome of an organism, and specifically the transcriptome, is modulated after interplaying with pathogenic microorganisms and ectoparasites. However, the ever-increasing accessibility of sequencing technology has also evidenced regulatory roles of long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) related to several biological processes including immune response. This study reports a high-confidence annotation and a comparative transcriptome analysis of lncRNAs from several tissues of Salmo salar infected with the most prevalent pathogens in the Chilean salmon aquaculture such as the infectious salmon anemia (ISA) virus, the intracellular bacterium Piscirickettsia salmonis and the ectoparasite copepod Caligus rogercresseyi. Our analyses showed that lncRNAs are widely modulated during infection. However, this modulation is pathogen-specific and highly correlated with immuno-related genes associated with innate immune response. These findings represent the first discovery for the widespread differential expression of lncRNAs in response to infections with different types of pathogens in Atlantic salmon, suggesting that lncRNAs are pivotal player during the fish immune response.

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