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Spatial Transcriptomics of C. elegans Males and Hermaphrodites Identifies Sex-Specific Differences in Gene Expression Patterns

Ebbing, A., Vertesy, A., Betist, M. C., Spanjaard, B., Junker, J. P., Berezikov, E., van Oudenaarden, A. & Korswagen, H. C., 17-Dec-2018, In : Developmental Cell. 47, 6, p. 801-813 19 p.

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  • Spatial Transcriptomics of C. elegans Males and Hermaphrodites Identifies Sex-Specific Differences in Gene Expression Patterns

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DOI

  • Annabel Ebbing
  • Abel Vertesy
  • Marco C. Betist
  • Bastiaan Spanjaard
  • Jan Philipp Junker
  • Eugene Berezikov
  • Alexander van Oudenaarden
  • Hendrik C. Korswagen

To advance our understanding of the genetic programs that drive cell and tissue specialization, it is necessary to obtain a comprehensive overview of gene expression patterns. Here, we have used spatial transcriptomics to generate high-resolution, anteroposterior gene expression maps of C. elegans males and hermaphrodites. To explore these maps, we have developed computational methods for discovering region-and tissue-specific genes. We have found extensive sex-specific gene expression differences in the germline and sperm and discovered genes that are specifically expressed in the male reproductive tract. These include a group of uncharacterized genes that encode small secreted proteins that are required for male fertility. We conclude that spatial gene expression maps provide a powerful resource for identifying tissue-specific gene functions in C. elegans. Importantly, we found that expression maps from different animals can be precisely aligned, enabling transcriptome-wide comparisons of gene expression patterns.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)801-813
Number of pages19
JournalDevelopmental Cell
Volume47
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 17-Dec-2018

    Keywords

  • MALE MATING-BEHAVIOR, NEUROPEPTIDE GENE, READ ALIGNMENT, GERM-LINE, SPERM, NEMATODE, NEURONS, VESICLES, FAMILY

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