Assessment of virally vectored autoimmunity as a biocontrol strategy for cane toads

Jackie Pallister, Damien Halliday, Anthony Robinson, Daryl Venables, Rhonda Voysey, Donna Boyle, Thayalini Shanmuganathan, Christopher Hardy, Nicole Siddon, Alex Hyatt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

4 Citations (Scopus)
4 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract


Background
The cane toad, Bufo (Chaunus) marinus, is one of the most notorious vertebrate pests introduced into Australia over the last 200 years and, so far, efforts to identify a naturally occurring B. marinus-specific pathogen for use as a biological control agent have been unsuccessful. We explored an alternative approach that entailed genetically modifying a pathogen with broad host specificity so that it no longer caused disease, but carried a gene to disrupt the cane toad life cycle in a species specific manner.

Methodology/Principal Findings
The adult beta globin gene was selected as the model gene for proof of concept of autoimmunity as a biocontrol method for cane toads. A previous report showed injection of bullfrog tadpoles with adult beta globin resulted in an alteration in the form of beta globin expressed in metamorphs as well as reduced survival. In B. marinus we established for the first time that the switch from tadpole to adult globin exists. The effect of injecting B. marinus tadpoles with purified recombinant adult globin protein was then assessed using behavioural (swim speed in tadpoles and jump length in metamorphs), developmental (time to metamorphosis, weight and length at various developmental stages, protein profile of adult globin) and genetic (adult globin mRNA levels) measures. However, we were unable to detect any differences between treated and control animals. Further, globin delivery using Bohle iridovirus, an Australian ranavirus isolate belonging to the Iridovirus family, did not reduce the survival of metamorphs or alter the form of beta globin expressed in metamorphs.

Conclusions/Significance
While we were able to show for the first time that the switch from tadpole to adult globin does occur in B. marinus, we were not able to induce autoimmunity and disrupt metamorphosis. The short development time of B. marinus tadpoles may preclude this approach.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-10
Number of pages10
JournalPLoS One
Volume6
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2011
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

Biocontrol
Bufo marinus
Canes
autoimmunity
Globins
Autoimmunity
Anura
Larva
tadpoles
biological control
beta-Globins
Iridovirus
Genes
Pathogens
Ranavirus
metamorphosis
Bohle iridovirus
Switches
Biological Control Agents
Rana catesbeiana

Cite this

Pallister, J., Halliday, D., Robinson, A., Venables, D., Voysey, R., Boyle, D., ... Hyatt, A. (2011). Assessment of virally vectored autoimmunity as a biocontrol strategy for cane toads. PLoS One, 6(1), 1-10. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0014576
Pallister, Jackie ; Halliday, Damien ; Robinson, Anthony ; Venables, Daryl ; Voysey, Rhonda ; Boyle, Donna ; Shanmuganathan, Thayalini ; Hardy, Christopher ; Siddon, Nicole ; Hyatt, Alex. / Assessment of virally vectored autoimmunity as a biocontrol strategy for cane toads. In: PLoS One. 2011 ; Vol. 6, No. 1. pp. 1-10.
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Pallister, J, Halliday, D, Robinson, A, Venables, D, Voysey, R, Boyle, D, Shanmuganathan, T, Hardy, C, Siddon, N & Hyatt, A 2011, 'Assessment of virally vectored autoimmunity as a biocontrol strategy for cane toads', PLoS One, vol. 6, no. 1, pp. 1-10. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0014576

Assessment of virally vectored autoimmunity as a biocontrol strategy for cane toads. / Pallister, Jackie; Halliday, Damien; Robinson, Anthony; Venables, Daryl; Voysey, Rhonda; Boyle, Donna; Shanmuganathan, Thayalini; Hardy, Christopher; Siddon, Nicole; Hyatt, Alex.

In: PLoS One, Vol. 6, No. 1, 2011, p. 1-10.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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T1 - Assessment of virally vectored autoimmunity as a biocontrol strategy for cane toads

AU - Pallister, Jackie

AU - Halliday, Damien

AU - Robinson, Anthony

AU - Venables, Daryl

AU - Voysey, Rhonda

AU - Boyle, Donna

AU - Shanmuganathan, Thayalini

AU - Hardy, Christopher

AU - Siddon, Nicole

AU - Hyatt, Alex

PY - 2011

Y1 - 2011

N2 - BackgroundThe cane toad, Bufo (Chaunus) marinus, is one of the most notorious vertebrate pests introduced into Australia over the last 200 years and, so far, efforts to identify a naturally occurring B. marinus-specific pathogen for use as a biological control agent have been unsuccessful. We explored an alternative approach that entailed genetically modifying a pathogen with broad host specificity so that it no longer caused disease, but carried a gene to disrupt the cane toad life cycle in a species specific manner. Methodology/Principal FindingsThe adult beta globin gene was selected as the model gene for proof of concept of autoimmunity as a biocontrol method for cane toads. A previous report showed injection of bullfrog tadpoles with adult beta globin resulted in an alteration in the form of beta globin expressed in metamorphs as well as reduced survival. In B. marinus we established for the first time that the switch from tadpole to adult globin exists. The effect of injecting B. marinus tadpoles with purified recombinant adult globin protein was then assessed using behavioural (swim speed in tadpoles and jump length in metamorphs), developmental (time to metamorphosis, weight and length at various developmental stages, protein profile of adult globin) and genetic (adult globin mRNA levels) measures. However, we were unable to detect any differences between treated and control animals. Further, globin delivery using Bohle iridovirus, an Australian ranavirus isolate belonging to the Iridovirus family, did not reduce the survival of metamorphs or alter the form of beta globin expressed in metamorphs. Conclusions/SignificanceWhile we were able to show for the first time that the switch from tadpole to adult globin does occur in B. marinus, we were not able to induce autoimmunity and disrupt metamorphosis. The short development time of B. marinus tadpoles may preclude this approach.

AB - BackgroundThe cane toad, Bufo (Chaunus) marinus, is one of the most notorious vertebrate pests introduced into Australia over the last 200 years and, so far, efforts to identify a naturally occurring B. marinus-specific pathogen for use as a biological control agent have been unsuccessful. We explored an alternative approach that entailed genetically modifying a pathogen with broad host specificity so that it no longer caused disease, but carried a gene to disrupt the cane toad life cycle in a species specific manner. Methodology/Principal FindingsThe adult beta globin gene was selected as the model gene for proof of concept of autoimmunity as a biocontrol method for cane toads. A previous report showed injection of bullfrog tadpoles with adult beta globin resulted in an alteration in the form of beta globin expressed in metamorphs as well as reduced survival. In B. marinus we established for the first time that the switch from tadpole to adult globin exists. The effect of injecting B. marinus tadpoles with purified recombinant adult globin protein was then assessed using behavioural (swim speed in tadpoles and jump length in metamorphs), developmental (time to metamorphosis, weight and length at various developmental stages, protein profile of adult globin) and genetic (adult globin mRNA levels) measures. However, we were unable to detect any differences between treated and control animals. Further, globin delivery using Bohle iridovirus, an Australian ranavirus isolate belonging to the Iridovirus family, did not reduce the survival of metamorphs or alter the form of beta globin expressed in metamorphs. Conclusions/SignificanceWhile we were able to show for the first time that the switch from tadpole to adult globin does occur in B. marinus, we were not able to induce autoimmunity and disrupt metamorphosis. The short development time of B. marinus tadpoles may preclude this approach.

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DO - 10.1371/journal.pone.0014576

M3 - Article

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SN - 1932-6203

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Pallister J, Halliday D, Robinson A, Venables D, Voysey R, Boyle D et al. Assessment of virally vectored autoimmunity as a biocontrol strategy for cane toads. PLoS One. 2011;6(1):1-10. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0014576