Publications by authors named "Q Schull"

9 Publications

Dual RNAseq highlights the kinetics of skin microbiome and fish host responsiveness to bacterial infection.

Anim Microbiome 2021 May 7;3(1):35. Epub 2021 May 7.

Ifremer, IRD, Institut Louis-Malardé, Univ Polynésie Française, EIO, F-98719 Taravao, Tahiti, Polynésie Française.

Background: Tenacibaculum maritimum is a fish pathogen known for causing serious damage to a broad range of wild and farmed marine fish populations worldwide. The recently sequenced genome of T. maritimum strain NCIMB 2154 provided unprecedented information on the possible molecular mechanisms involved in the virulence of this species. However, little is known about the dynamic of infection in vivo, and information is lacking on both the intrinsic host response (gene expression) and its associated microbiota. Here, we applied complementary omic approaches, including dual RNAseq and 16S rRNA gene metabarcoding sequencing using Nanopore and short-read Illumina technologies to unravel the host-pathogen interplay in an experimental infection system using the tropical fish Platax orbicularis as model.

Results: We showed that the infection of the host is characterised by an enhancement of functions associated with antibiotic and glucans catabolism functions but a reduction of sulfate assimilation process in T. maritimum. The fish host concurrently displays a large panel of immune effectors, notably involving innate response and triggering acute inflammatory response. In addition, our results suggest that fish activate an adaptive immune response visible through the stimulation of T-helper cells, Th17, with congruent reduction of Th2 and T-regulatory cells. Fish were, however, largely sensitive to infection, and less than 25% survived after 96 hpi. These surviving fish showed no evidence of stress (cortisol levels) or significant difference in microbiome diversity compared with controls at the same sampling time. The presence of T. maritimum in resistant fish skin and the total absence of any skin lesions suggest that these fish did not escape contact with the pathogen, but rather that some mechanisms prevented pathogens entry. In resistant individuals, we detected up-regulation of specific immune-related genes differentiating resistant individuals from controls at 96 hpi, which suggests a possible genomic basis of resistance, although no genetic variation in coding regions was found.

Conclusion: Here we focus in detail on the interplay between common fish pathogens and host immune response during experimental infection. We further highlight key actors of defence response, pathogenicity and possible genomic bases of fish resistance to T. maritimum.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s42523-021-00097-1DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8106148PMC
May 2021

Foster rather than biological parental telomere length predicts offspring survival and telomere length in king penguins.

Mol Ecol 2020 08 20;29(16):3155-3167. Epub 2020 Jun 20.

Institut Pluridisciplinaire Hubert Curien, UMR 7178, Université de Strasbourg, CNRS, Strasbourg, France.

Because telomere length and dynamics relate to individual growth, reproductive investment and survival, telomeres have emerged as possible markers of individual quality. Here, we tested the hypothesis that, in species with parental care, parental telomere length can be a marker of parental quality that predicts offspring phenotype and survival. In king penguins (Aptenodytes patagonicus), we experimentally swapped the single egg of 66 breeding pairs just after egg laying to disentangle the contribution of prelaying parental quality (e.g., genetics, investment in the egg) and/or postlaying parental quality (e.g., incubation, postnatal feeding rate) on offspring growth, telomere length and survival. Parental quality was estimated through the joint effects of biological and foster parent telomere length on offspring traits, both soon after hatching (day 10) and at the end of the prewinter growth period (day 105). We expected that offspring traits would be mostly related to the telomere lengths (i.e., quality) of biological parents at day 10 and to the telomere lengths of foster parents at day 105. Results show that chick survival up to 10 days was negatively related to biological fathers' telomere length, whereas survival up to 105 days was positively related to foster fathers' telomere lengths. Chick growth was not related to either biological or foster parents' telomere length. Chick telomere length was positively related to foster mothers' telomere length at both 10 and 105 days. Overall, our study shows that, in a species with biparental care, parents' telomere length is foremost a proxy of postlaying parental care quality, supporting the "telomere - parental quality hypothesis."
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/mec.15485DOI Listing
August 2020

Oxidative stress and mitochondrial responses to stress exposure suggest that king penguins are naturally equipped to resist stress.

Sci Rep 2019 06 12;9(1):8545. Epub 2019 Jun 12.

Université de Strasbourg, CNRS, IPHC UMR 7178, 67000, Strasbourg, France.

Exposure to unpredictable environmental stressors could influence animal health and fitness by inducing oxidative stress, potentially through downstream effects of glucocorticoid stress hormones (e.g. corticosterone) on mitochondrial function. Yet, it remains unclear whether species that have evolved in stochastic and challenging environments may present adaptations to alleviate the effects of stress exposure on oxidative stress. We tested this hypothesis in wild king penguins by investigating mitochondrial and oxidative stress responses to acute restraint-stress, and their relationships with baseline (potentially mirroring exposure to chronic stress) and stress-induced increase in corticosterone levels. Acute restraint-stress did not significantly influence mitochondrial function. However, acute restraint-stress led to a significant increase in endogenous antioxidant defences, while oxidative damage levels were mostly not affected or even decreased. High baseline corticosterone levels were associated with an up-regulation of the glutathione antioxidant system and a decrease in mitochondrial efficiency. Both processes might contribute to prevent oxidative damage, potentially explaining the negative relationship observed between baseline corticosterone and plasma oxidative damage to proteins. While stress exposure can represent an oxidative challenge for animals, protective mechanisms like up-regulating antioxidant defences and decreasing mitochondrial efficiency seem to occur in king penguins, allowing them to cope with their stochastic and challenging environment.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41598-019-44990-xDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6561961PMC
June 2019

Individual variability in contaminants and physiological status in a resident Arctic seabird species.

Environ Pollut 2019 Jun 25;249:191-199. Epub 2019 Jan 25.

University of Oslo, Department of Biosciences, Problemveien 7, 0315, Oslo, Norway.

While migratory seabirds dominate ecotoxicological studies within the Arctic, there is limited knowledge about exposure and potential effects from circulating legacy and emerging contaminants in species who reside in the high-Arctic all year round. Here, we focus on the case of the Mandt's Black guillemot (Cepphus grylle mandtii) breeding at Kongsfjorden, Svalbard (79.00°N, 11.66°E) and investigate exposure to legacy and emerging contaminants in relation to individual physiological status, i.e. body condition, oxidative stress and relative telomere length. Despite its benthic-inshore foraging strategy, the Black guillemot displayed overall similar contaminant concentrations in blood during incubation (∑PCB (15.7 ng/g w.w.) > ∑PFAS (9.9 ng/g w.w.) > ∑Pesticides (6.7 ng/g w.w.) > ∑PBDE (2.7 ng/g w.w.), and Hg (0.3 μg/g d.w.) compared to an Arctic migratory seabird in which several contaminant-related stress responses have been observed. Black guillemots in poorer condition tended to display higher levels of contaminants, higher levels of reactive oxygen metabolites, lower plasmatic antioxidant capacity, and shorter telomere lengths; however the low sample size restrict any strong conclusions. Nevertheless, our data suggests that nonlinear relationships with a threshold may exist between accumulated contaminant concentrations and physiological status of the birds. These findings were used to build a hypothesis to be applied in future modelling for describing how chronic exposure to contaminants may be linked to telomere dynamics.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.envpol.2019.01.025DOI Listing
June 2019

Experimental stress during molt suggests the evolution of condition-dependent and condition-independent ornaments in the king penguin.

Ecol Evol 2018 01 20;8(2):1084-1095. Epub 2017 Dec 20.

Institute of Biological and Environmental Sciences University of Aberdeen Scotland, UK.

Sexual selection and social selection are two important theories proposed for explaining the evolution of colorful ornamental traits in animals. Understanding signal honesty requires studying how environmental and physiological factors during development influence the showy nature of sexual and social ornaments. We experimentally manipulated physiological stress and immunity status during the molt in adult king penguins (), and studied the consequences of our treatments on colourful ornaments (yellow-orange and UV beak spots and yellow-orange auricular feather patches) known to be used in sexual and social contexts in this species. Whereas some ornamental features showed strong condition-dependence (yellow auricular feather chroma, yellow and UV chroma of the beak), others were condition-independent and remained highly correlated before and after the molt (auricular patch size and beak UV hue). Our study provides a rare examination of the links between ornament determinism and selection processes in the wild. We highlight the coexistence of ornaments costly to produce that may be honest signals used in mate choice, and ornaments for which honesty may be enforced by social mediation or rely on genetic constraints.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ece3.3677DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5773310PMC
January 2018