The Biomphalaria genome, a framework for interpretation of snail biology
Friday, march 9 - 11:00 - Sophia Antipolis - Inra PACA - Room A010
Among the great diversity of gastropod mollusks (~80,000 species estimated), in-depth study has been directed to a few species such as the freshwater snail Biomphalaria glabrata. This neotropical snail and related African species are instrumental in transmission of schistosomiasis, an infectious disease that impacts human health worldwide. Investigation of snail intermediate host interactions with schistosomes (Platyhelminthes) and related flatworm parasites revealed that innate type immunity of invertebrates encompasses (somatic) diversified immune factors. Snails dynamically generate unique immunological identities. An international consortium characterized the B. glabrata genome to better define this species as a suitable snail host for S. mansoni, revealing aspects of snail biology, including reproduction and immunity. Comparative analyses of next generation sequence data from Physella acuta snails (representing the Physidae, sister family of Planorbidae that include Biomphalaria) will be discussed, The model B. glabrata provides an effective framework for general snail biology but unique features may be encountered in separate gastropod taxa.