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Dual transcriptomics of virus-host interactions: comparing two Pacific oyster families presenting contrasted susceptibility to ostreid herpesvirus 1

Amélie Segarra1, Florian Mauduit1, Nicole Faury1, Suzanne Trancart1, Lionel Dégremont1, Delphine Tourbiez1, Philippe Haffner1, Valérie Barbosa-Solomieu1, Jean-François Pépin2, Marie-Agnès Travers1 and Tristan Renault1*

Author Affiliations

1 Ifremer (Institut Français de Recherche pour l’Exploitation de la Mer), Unité Santé Génétique et Microbiologie des Mollusques (SG2M), Laboratoire de Génétique et Pathologie des Mollusques Marins (LGPMM), Avenue de Mus de Loup, 17390 La Tremblade, France

2 Ifremer, Laboratoire Environnement Ressources des Pertuis Charentais (LERPC), Avenue de Mus de Loup, 17390 La Tremblade, France

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BMC Genomics 2014, 15:580  doi:10.1186/1471-2164-15-580

Published: 9 July 2014



Massive mortality outbreaks affecting Pacific oyster (Crassostrea gigas) spat in various countries have been associated with the detection of a herpesvirus called ostreid herpesvirus type 1 (OsHV-1). However, few studies have been performed to understand and follow viral gene expression, as it has been done in vertebrate herpesviruses. In this work, experimental infection trials of C. gigas spat with OsHV-1 were conducted in order to test the susceptibility of several bi-parental oyster families to this virus and to analyze host-pathogen interactions using in vivo transcriptomic approaches.


The divergent response of these oyster families in terms of mortality confirmed that susceptibility to OsHV-1 infection has a significant genetic component. Two families with contrasted survival rates were selected. A total of 39 viral genes and five host genes were monitored by real-time PCR. Initial results provided information on (i) the virus cycle of OsHV-1 based on the kinetics of viral DNA replication and transcription and (ii) host defense mechanisms against the virus.


In the two selected families, the detected amounts of viral DNA and RNA were significantly different. This result suggests that Pacific oysters are genetically diverse in terms of their susceptibility to OsHV-1 infection. This contrasted susceptibility was associated with dissimilar host gene expression profiles. Moreover, the present study showed a positive correlation between viral DNA amounts and the level of expression of selected oyster genes.

Interactions; Ostreid herpesvirus 1; Gene expression; Susceptibility; Crassostrea gigas