Location: Animal Parasitic Diseases LaboratoryTitle: Horizontal gene transfer provides insights into the deep evolutionary history and biology of Trichinella
|ZARLENGA, DANTE - Retired ARS Employee|
|MITREVA, MAKEDONKA - Washington University|
|ROSA, BRUCE - University Of New Mexico|
|HOBERG, ERIC - University Of Wisconsin|
Submitted to: Food and Waterborne Parasitology
Publication Type: Literature Review
Publication Acceptance Date: 4/11/2022
Publication Date: 4/18/2022
Citation: Zarlenga, D., Thompson, P.C., Mitreva, M., Rosa, B., Hoberg, E. 2022. Horizontal gene transfer provides insights into the deep evolutionary history and biology of Trichinella. Food and Waterborne Parasitology. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.fawpar.2022.e00155.
Interpretive Summary: Evolutionary history helps us to understand the origins of different biological characteristics and, importantly, different lifestyles of organisms such as parasitism. In this publication, we investigated the role of cyanase, a gene transferred from a plant or fungus, in establishing parasitism in the foodborne parasite Trichinella. We reviewed extensive amounts of gene function literature to put forth well founded hypotheses for the need for cyanase in Trichinella. It is likely that this gene contributes to detoxification of harmful chemicals in the environment, serves as an alternative energy source, or possibly both. This paper will guide future researchers to experiments testing the role of cyanase in parasitic worms.
Technical Abstract: Cyanase is a protein found in parasitic nematodes but not their free-living relatives, suggesting a relationship with parasitic lifestyles. This protein does not originate in the nematodes, but has been shown to be acquired at least two different times in nematode history through horizontal gene transfer. This gene remains functional in these parasitic organisms and must provide some selective advantage in a parasitic lifestyle. In this paper, through literature reviews, we clarify the likely plant or plant symbiont origin of cyanase in Trichinella and explore the possible role of cyanase in the life of Trichinellids. It is likely that this gene contributes to detoxification of harmful chemicals present in the muscle tissue environment or acts as an alternative energy inside the nurse cell; it may do both. Horizontal gene transfer of cyanase from plants or their symbionts has shaped the lifestyle of Trichinella and may have enabled the switch from free living organism to parasite.