Differential small RNA responses against co-infecting insect-specific viruses in Aedes albopictus mosquitoes [article]

Lionel Frangeul, Hervé Blanc, Maria-Carla Saleh, Yasutsugu Suzuki
2020 biorxiv/medrxiv   pre-print
The mosquito antiviral response has been mainly studied in the case of arthropod-borne virus (arbovirus) infection in female mosquitoes. However, in nature, both female and male mosquitoes are abundantly infected with insect-specific viruses (ISVs). ISVs are capable of infecting the reproductive organs of both sexes and are maintained primarily by vertical transmission. Since the RNA interference (RNAi)-mediated antiviral response plays an important antiviral role in mosquitoes, ISVs constitute
more » ... a relevant model to study sex-dependent antiviral responses. Using a naturally generated viral stock containing three distinct ISVs, Aedes flavivirus (AEFV), Menghai Rhabdovirus (MERV) and Shinobi tetra virus (SHTV), we infected adult Aedes albopictus females and males and generated small RNA libraries from ovaries, testes, and the remainder of the body. Overall, both female and male mosquitoes showed unique small RNA profiles to each co-infecting ISV regardless the sex or tissue tested. While all three ISVs generated virus-derived siRNAs, only MERV generated virus-derived piRNAs. We also studied the expression of PIWI genes in reproductive tissues and carcasses. Piwi1-4 were abundantly expressed in ovaries and testes in contrast to Piwi5-9, suggesting that Piwi 5-9 are involved in exogenous viral piRNA production. Together, our results show that ISV-infected Aedes albopictus produce viral small RNAs in a virus-specific manner and that male mosquitoes mount a similar small RNA-mediated antiviral response to that of females.
doi:10.1101/2020.03.28.012062 fatcat:pegfq4yslngqrc3ggbng4tkjfi