Effect of torpor on host transcriptomic responses to a fungal pathogen in hibernating bats


Material Information

Effect of torpor on host transcriptomic responses to a fungal pathogen in hibernating bats
Series Title:
Molecular Ecology
Firled, Kenneth A.
Sewall, Brent, J.
Prokkola, Jenni M.
Turner, Gregory G.
Gagnon, Marianne, F.
Lilley, Thomas M.
White, J. Paul
Johnson, Joseph S.
Hauer, Christopher L.
Reeder, DeeAnn M.
Publication Date:


Subjects / Keywords:
Hibernation ( local )
Pathogenesis ( local )
Thermoregulatory Behavior ( local )
Transcriptomics ( local )
White‐Nose Syndrome ( local )
serial ( sobekcm )


Hibernation, the use of prolonged torpor to depress metabolism, is employed by mammals to conserve resources during extended periods of extreme temperatures and/or resource limitation. Mammalian hibernators arouse to euthermy periodically during torpor for reasons that are not well understood, and these arousals may facilitate immune processes. To determine whether arousals enable host responses to pathogens, we used dual RNA‐Seq and a paired sampling approach to examine gene expression in a hibernating bat, the little brown myotis (Myotis lucifugus). During torpor, transcript levels differed in only a few genes between uninfected wing tissue and adjacent tissue infected with Pseudogymnoascus destructans, the fungal pathogen that causes white‐nose syndrome. Within 70–80 min after emergence from torpor, large changes in gene expression were observed due to local infection, particularly in genes involved in pro‐inflammatory host responses to fungal pathogens, but also in many genes involved in immune responses and metabolism. These results support the hypothesis that torpor is a period of relative immune dormancy and arousals allow for local immune responses in infected tissues during hibernation. Host–pathogen interactions were also found to regulate gene expression in the pathogen differently depending on the torpor state of the host. Hibernating species must balance the benefits of energy and water conservation achieved during torpor with the costs of decreased immune competence. Interbout arousals allow hibernators to optimize these, and other, trade‐offs during prolonged hibernation by enabling host responses to pathogens within brief, periodic episodes of euthermy.
Original Version:
Molecular Ecology, Vol. 27, no. 18 (2018-08-06).

Record Information

Source Institution:
University of South Florida Library
Holding Location:
University of South Florida
Rights Management:
This object is protected by copyright, and is made available here for research and educational purposes. Permission to reuse, publish, or reproduce the object beyond the bounds of Fair Use or other exemptions to copyright law must be obtained from the copyright holder.

USFLDC Membership

University of South Florida
Karst Information Portal

Postcard Information



Download Options


No images or PDF downloads are available for this resource.

Cite this item close


Cras ut cursus ante, a fringilla nunc. Mauris lorem nunc, cursus sit amet enim ac, vehicula vestibulum mi. Mauris viverra nisl vel enim faucibus porta. Praesent sit amet ornare diam, non finibus nulla.


Cras efficitur magna et sapien varius, luctus ullamcorper dolor convallis. Orci varius natoque penatibus et magnis dis parturient montes, nascetur ridiculus mus. Fusce sit amet justo ut erat laoreet congue sed a ante.


Phasellus ornare in augue eu imperdiet. Donec malesuada sapien ante, at vehicula orci tempor molestie. Proin vitae urna elit. Pellentesque vitae nisi et diam euismod malesuada aliquet non erat.


Nunc fringilla dolor ut dictum placerat. Proin ac neque rutrum, consectetur ligula id, laoreet ligula. Nulla lorem massa, consectetur vitae consequat in, lobortis at dolor. Nunc sed leo odio.