Bulinus truncatus transcriptome – a resource to enable molecular studies of snail and schistosome biology

10 Feb 2021

Despite advances in high-throughput sequencing and bioinformatics, molecular investigations of snail intermediate hosts that transmit parasitic trematodes are scant. Here, we report the first transcriptome for Bulinus truncatus – a key intermediate host of Schistosoma haematobium – a blood fluke that causes urogenital schistosomiasis in humans. We assembled this transcriptome from short- and long-read RNA-sequence data. From this transcriptome, we predicted 12,998 proteins, 58% of which had orthologs in Biomphalaria glabrata – an intermediate host of Schistosoma mansoni – a blood fluke that causes hepato-intestinal schistosomiasis. We predicted that select protein groups are involved in signal transduction, cell growth and death, the immune system, environmental adaptation and/or the excretory/secretory system, suggesting roles in immune responses, pathogen defence and/or parasite-host interactions. The transcriptome of Bu. truncatus provides a useful resource to underpin future molecular investigations of this and related snail species, and its interactions with pathogens including S. haematobium. The present resource should enable comparative investigations of other molluscan hosts of socioeconomically important parasites in the future.