A survey of the ATP-binding cassette (ABC) gene superfamily in the salmon louse (Lepeophtheirus salmonis)



Carmona-Antonanzas G, Carmichael SN, Heumann J, Taggart J, Bron J, Bekaert M, Sturm A & Gharbi K (2015) A survey of the ATP-binding cassette (ABC) gene superfamily in the salmon louse (Lepeophtheirus salmonis). PLoS ONE, 10 (9), Art. No.: e0137394.

Salmon lice,Lepeophtheirus salmonis(Krøyer, 1837), are fish ectoparasites causing significant economic damage in the mariculture of Atlantic salmon,Salmo salarLinnaeus, 1758. The control ofL.salmonisat fish farms relies to a large extent on treatment with anti-parasitic drugs. A problem related to chemical control is the potential for development of resistance, which inL.salmonisis documented for a number of drug classes including organophosphates, pyrethroids and avermectins. The ATP-binding cassette (ABC) gene superfamily is found in all biota and includes a range of drug efflux transporters that can confer drug resistance to cancers and pathogens. Furthermore, some ABC transporters are recognised to be involved in conferral of insecticide resistance. While a number of studies have investigated ABC transporters inL.salmonis, no systematic analysis of the ABC gene family exists for this species. This study presents a genome-wide survey of ABC genes inL.salmonisfor which, ABC superfamily members were identified through homology searching of theL.salmonisgenome. In addition, ABC proteins were identified in a reference transcriptome of the parasite generated by high-throughput RNA sequencing (RNA-seq) of a multi-stage RNA library. Searches of both genome and transcriptome allowed the identification of a total of 33 genes / transcripts coding for ABC proteins, of which 3 were represented only in the genome and 4 only in the transcriptome. Eighteen sequences were assigned to ABC subfamilies known to contain drug transporters,i.e. subfamilies B (4 sequences), C (11) and G (2). The results suggest that the ABC gene family ofL.salmonispossesses fewer members than recorded for other arthropods. The present survey of theL.salmonisABC gene superfamily will provide the basis for further research into potential roles of ABC transporters in the toxicity of salmon delousing agents and as potential mechanisms of drug resistance.

PLoS ONE: Volume 10, Issue 9

FundersBiotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council
Publication date30/09/2015
Publication date online30/09/2015
Date accepted by journal17/08/2015
PublisherPublic Library of Science

People (3)


Dr Michaël Bekaert
Dr Michaël Bekaert

Senior Lecturer, Institute of Aquaculture

Professor James Bron
Professor James Bron

Professor, Institute of Aquaculture

Dr Armin Sturm
Dr Armin Sturm

Senior Lecturer, Institute of Aquaculture

Projects (1)