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Title: Responding to Threats Both Foreign and Domestic: NOD-Like Receptors in Corals
Abstract Historically mechanisms with which basal animals such as reef-building corals use to respond to changing and increasingly stressful environments have remained elusive. However, the increasing availability of genomic and transcriptomic data from these organisms has provided fundamental insights into the biology of these critically important ecosystem engineers. Notably, insights into cnidarians gained in the post-genomics age have revealed a surprisingly complex immune system which bears a surprising level of similarity with the vertebrate innate immune system. This system has been critically linked to how corals respond to the two most prominent threats on a global scale, emerging coral diseases and increasing water temperature, which are recognized cellularly as either foreign or domestic threats, respectively. These threats can arise from pathogenic microbes or internal cellular dysfunction, underscoring the need to further understand mechanisms corals use to sense and respond to threats to their cellular integrity. In this investigation and meta-analysis, we utilize resources only recently available in the post-genomic era to identify and characterize members of an underexplored class of molecules known as NOD-like receptors in the endangered Caribbean coral Orbicella faveolata. We then leverage these data to identify pathways possibly mediated by NLRs in both O. faveolata and the more » ecologically important branching coral Acropora digitifera. Overall, we find support that this class of proteins may provide a mechanistic link to how reef-building corals respond to threats both foreign and domestic. « less
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Award ID(s):
1831860 1712134
Publication Date:
Journal Name:
Integrative and Comparative Biology
Page Range or eLocation-ID:
819 to 829
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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