Eggs produced by the mature female parasite are responsible for the pathogenesis and transmission of schistosomiasis. Female schistosomes rely on a unique male-induced strategy to accomplish reproductive development, a process that is incompletely understood. Here we map detailed transcriptomic profiles of male and female Schistosoma japonicum across eight time points throughout the sexual developmental process from pairing to maturation. The dynamic gene expression pattern data reveal clear sex-related characteristics, indicative of an unambiguous functional division between males and females during their interplay. Cluster analysis, in situ hybridization and RNAi assays indicate that males likely use biogenic amine neurotransmitters through the nervous system to control and maintain pairing with females. In addition, the analyses indicate that reproductive development of females involves an insect-like hormonal regulation. These data sets and analyses serve as a foundation for deeper study of sexual development in this pathogen and identification of novel anti-schistosomal interventions.
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Wang, J., Yu, Y., Shen, H., Qing, T., Zheng, Y., Li, Q., Mo, X., Wang, S., Li, N., Chai, R., Xu, B., Liu, M., Brindley, P., McManus, D., Feng, Z., Shi, L., & Hu, W. (2017). Dynamic transcriptomes identify biogenic amines and insect-like hormonal regulation for mediating reproduction in Schistosoma japonicum.. Nature Communications, 8 (). http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/ncomms14693