Study : Silene latifolia strain:U11 Raw sequence reads


Silene latifolia strain:U11 Raw sequence reads
<![CDATA[Sexual dimorphism, including differences in morphology, behavior and physiologybetween males and females, is widespread in animals and plants and is shaped bygene expression differences between the sexes. Such expression differences may alsounderlie sex-specific responses of hosts to pathogen infections, most notably whenpathogens induce partial sex reversal in infected hosts. The genetic changesassociated with sexual dimorphism, on the one hand, and sex-specific responses topathogen infections, on the other hand, remain poorly understood. The dioeciousWhite Campion (Silene latifolia) displays strong sexual dimorphism in floral traits andinfection with the smut fungus Microbotryum violaceum induces a partial sex reversal infemales, rendering them more male-like. We find strong sex-specific responses topathogen infection in S. latifolia. This allows for the first time to link pathogen-mediatedchanges in sex-biased gene expression to altered sexual dimorphism in the host. Infemales, expression changes following infection led to transcriptome defeminizationand masculinization, whereas in males, infection caused widespread down-regulationof contigs with male-biased expression in healthy plants, leading to opposite changesof expression patterns, and thus to feminization and demasculinization of thetranscriptome in response to smut infection. These transcriptional changes includedactivation of sex-specific genes in the opposite sex and were associated with a partialsex reversal in females and reduced sexual dimorphism between infected male andfemale hosts. Our results reveal strong sex-specific responses to pathogen infection ina dioecious plant and provide a link between changes in sex-biased gene expression


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