Meeting Abstract

S11-6  Thursday, Jan. 7 11:00  Transcriptomic approaches to host-pathogen-environment interactions for the American lobster Homarus americanus CLARK, K.F.*; GREENWOOD, S.J.; University of Prince Edward Island; University of Prince Edward Island

The American lobster (Homarus americanus) fishery is the most economically important commercial fishery in Canada. The health and sustainability of the lobster fishery is critical to maintaining tens of thousands of jobs in rural communities throughout Atlantic Canada and Quebec. Current transcriptomic technologies are key to answering the complex applied and basic research questions that are essential for ensuring the longevity of the fishery. We have recently transitioned from oligonucleotide microarray technologies to RNA-Seq approaches to increase the depth and breadth of our transcriptomic exploration of a lobster’s response to pathogens or anthropogenic environmental contaminants. Here we will highlight the results of transcriptomic analyses of lobster immune responses during bacterial and microparasitic pathogen challenges. Our findings highlight the importance, and discovery, of hundreds of new lobster immune isoforms in immunological pathways such as pathogen recognition and response, coagulation, cellular encapsulation, phenoloxidase activation and melanization. The elucidation of immune pathways in lobsters, and other crustaceans, provides the basis of informative comparative immunological studies and a greater understanding of crustacean and invertebrate immunology.