Multiomics uncovers the epigenomic and transcriptomic response to viral and bacterial stimulation in turbot

Aramburu O. et al.

Uncovering the epigenomic regulation of immune responses is essential for a comprehensive understanding of host defence mechanisms but remains poorly described in farmed fish. Here, we report the first annotation of the innate immune regulatory response in the genome of turbot (Scophthalmus maximus), a farmed flatfish. We integrated RNA-Seq with ATAC-Seq and ChIP-Seq (histone marks H3K4me3, H3K27ac and H3K27me3) using samples from head kidney. Sampling was performed 24 hours post-stimulation with viral (poly I:C) and bacterial (inactivate Vibrio anguillarum) mimics in vivo and in vitro (primary leukocyte cultures). Among the 8,797 differentially expressed genes (DEGs), we observed enrichment of transcriptional activation pathways in response to Vibrio and immune response pathways - including interferon stimulated genes - for poly I:C. Meanwhile, metabolic and cell cycle were downregulated by both mimics. We identified notable differences in chromatin accessibility (20,617 in vitro, 59,892 in vivo) and H3K4me3 bound regions (11,454 in vitro, 10,275 in vivo) - i.e. marking active promoters - between stimulations and controls. Overlaps of DEGs with promoters showing differential accessibility or histone mark binding revealed a significant coupling of the transcriptome and chromatin state. DEGs with activation marks in their promoters were enriched for similar functions to the global DEG set, but not in all cases, suggesting key regulatory genes were in poised or bivalent states. Active promoters and putative enhancers were differentially enriched in transcription factor binding motifs, many of them common to viral and bacterial responses. Finally, an in-depth analysis of immune response changes in chromatin state surrounding key DEGs encoding transcription factors was performed. This comprehensive multi-omics investigation provides an improved understanding of the epigenomic basis for the turbot immune responses and provides novel functional genomic information that can be leveraged in selective breeding towards enhanced disease resistance.

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February, 2024


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