Kalbskopf V, Ahrén D, Valkiūnas G, Palinauskas V, Hellgren O
Gene 792 (-) 145723 [2021-08-05; online 2021-05-18]
Avian malaria is a common and widespread disease of birds caused by a diverse group of pathogens of the genera Plasmodium. We investigated the transcriptomal profiles of one of the most common species, Plasmodium relictum, lineage SGS1, at multiple timepoints during the blood stages of the infection under experimental settings. The parasite showed well separated overall transcriptome profiles between day 8 and 20 after the infection, shown by well separated PCA profiles. Moreover, gene expression becomes more heterogenous within the experimental group late in the infection, either due to adaptations to individual differences between the experimental hosts, or due to desynchronisation of the life-cycle of the parasite. Overall, this study shows how the avian malaria system can be used to study gene expression of the avian Plasmodium parasite under controlled experimental settings, thus allowing for future comparative analysis of gene responses of parasite with different life-history traits and host effects.