In this study, we used real-time PCR to simultaneously monitor the responses of 12 key genes of the shrimp innate immune system in Litopenaeus vannamei after challenge with Vibrio harveyi. In the proPO activating system, we found that proPO was up-regulated (3.3× control at 36 hpi). The hemolymph clotting genes transglutaminase (TGase) and clotting protein were also up-regulated, as were 5 genes in the antimicrobial peptide system (ALF, Crustin, Lyz, PEN2 and PEN4), with only PEN3 showing no significant changes. In the antioxidant defense system, SOD was slightly elevated while GPx was substantially down-regulated. In the pattern recognition receptor system, at 24 hpi, the Toll gene (LvToll) showed the highest relative increase in expression level of all the investigated genes (15× greater than the sterile seawater control). In the second part of this study, when LvToll was knocked down by RNAi silencing, there was no effect on either survival rates or bacterial number in unchallenged shrimp. There was also no difference in mortality rates between control shrimp and LvToll-silenced shrimp when these two groups were challenged with a viral pathogen (white spot syndrome virus; WSSV). However, when LvToll-silenced shrimp were challenged by V. harveyi, there was a significant increase in mortality and bacterial CFU counts. We note that the increase in bacterial CFU count occurred even though treatment with EGFP dsRNA had the opposite effect of reducing the CFU counts. We conclude that LvToll is an important factor in the shrimp innate immune response to acute V. harveyi infection, but not to WSSV.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Developmental Biology