Functional analysis of vasa/PL10-like genes in the ovary of Schistosoma mansoni

Danielle E. Skinner, Anastas Popratiloff, Yousef N. Alrefaei, Victoria H. Mann, Gabriel Rinaldi*, Paul J. Brindley

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (SciVal)


The RNA helicase Vasa plays a pivotal role in the development of the germ line. To decipher the functional roles of vasa/PL10-like genes in the human blood fluke Schistosoma mansoni, we performed RNA interference followed by the analysis of the ovary in the adult female. Double-stranded RNA targeting the schistosome vasa-like gene Smvlg1 reduced the volume of the ovary. Changes in morphology of the ovary were analysed using carmine red-staining of the parasites followed by a novel confocal laser scanning microscopy (CLSM)-based approach to control for natural autofluorescence in female schistosome tissues. The reduction in the ovary volume may have been promoted by the loss of germ cells. By contrast, significant differences were not apparent in the number of eggs produced or hatching rate of eggs laid by the female schistosomes transfected with Smvlg1-specific dsRNA. The findings suggested a role for S. mansoni vasa/PL10-like gene -1 in germ cell development within the schistosome ovary that might impact in the pathogenesis and disease transmission by this neglected tropical disease pathogen.

Original languageEnglish
Article number111259
JournalMolecular and Biochemical Parasitology
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • Confocal microscopy
  • Functional genomic tools
  • Germline
  • RNAi
  • Schistosoma mansoni
  • Vasa/PL10-like genes
  • Gene Expression
  • Genitalia
  • Genes, Helminth
  • Transfection/methods
  • DEAD-box RNA Helicases/genetics
  • Microscopy, Confocal/methods
  • Ovary/anatomy & histology
  • Animals
  • RNA Interference
  • Schistosoma mansoni/genetics
  • Female


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