Toggle Main Menu Toggle Search

Open Access padlockePrints

Transcriptional characterisation of the Exaiptasia pallida pedal disc

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Peter Davey, Jessica Clarke, Dr Nicholas Aldred



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0).


© 2019 The Author(s).Background: Biological adhesion (bioadhesion), enables organisms to attach to surfaces as well as to a range of other targets. Bioadhesion evolved numerous times independently and is ubiquitous throughout the kingdoms of life. To date, investigations have focussed on various taxa of animals, plants and bacteria, but the fundamental processes underlying bioadhesion and the degree of conservation in different biological systems remain poorly understood. This study had two aims: 1) To characterise tissue-specific gene regulation in the pedal disc of the model cnidarian Exaiptasia pallida, and 2) to elucidate putative genes involved in pedal disc adhesion. Results: Five hundred and forty-seven genes were differentially expressed in the pedal disc compared to the rest of the animal. Four hundred and twenty-seven genes were significantly upregulated and 120 genes were significantly downregulated. Forty-one condensed gene ontology terms and 19 protein superfamily classifications were enriched in the pedal disc. Eight condensed gene ontology terms and 11 protein superfamily classifications were depleted. Enriched superfamilies were consistent with classifications identified previously as important for the bioadhesion of unrelated marine invertebrates. A host of genes involved in regulation of extracellular matrix generation and degradation were identified, as well as others related to development and immunity. Ab initio prediction identified 173 upregulated genes that putatively code for extracellularly secreted proteins. Conclusion: The analytical workflow facilitated identification of genes putatively involved in adhesion, immunity, defence and development of the E. pallida pedal disc. When defence, immunity and development-related genes were identified, those remaining corresponded most closely to formation of the extracellular matrix (ECM), implicating ECM in the adhesion of anemones to surfaces. This study therefore provides a valuable high-throughput resource for the bioadhesion community and lays a foundation for further targeted research to elucidate bioadhesion in the Cnidaria.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Davey PA, Rodrigues M, Clarke JL, Aldred N

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: BMC Genomics

Year: 2019

Volume: 20

Online publication date: 12/07/2019

Acceptance date: 20/06/2019

Date deposited: 22/07/2019

ISSN (electronic): 1471-2164

Publisher: BioMed Central Ltd


DOI: 10.1186/s12864-019-5917-5


Altmetrics provided by Altmetric


Funder referenceFunder name
RPG-2017-017Leverhulme Trust, The