About this Research Topic
Being the first animal class evolved with a complete and functional immune system that is composed of both adaptive and innate branches, fish serve as a captivating animal model in immunology. However, as a lower order vertebrate group, fish demonstrates striking differences compared to mammals in terms of immune organs, diversity of immune components, and the immune responses. Unlike mammals, the immune defense in fish heavily relies on innate immunity. Furthermore, aquaculture is the fastest-growing animal food sector but is constrained in expansion by health and infectious diseases.
There have been rapid advances in fish immunology research, mainly resulting from whole genome sequencing and transcriptome analyses. While the genome is considered to be relatively stable, the transcriptome dynamically varies with an array of factors such as developmental stage, external environment, and physiological condition of an animal, making the transcriptomics a remarkable approach for investigating the correlation and relationship between genotype of an organism to its phenotype. In the last two decades, transcriptomics in aquaculture has significantly contributed to our growing understanding of the disease pathology, host-pathogen interaction, and host immune responses. Using transcriptomics, mechanisms and molecular pathways underlying the immunological responses against pathogens can be unraveled. Transcriptomics approaches can identify novel molecular biomarkers (e.g., immune-relevant transcripts that respond to pathogens) that can be applied in the development of disease prevention or mitigation measures such as diagnostics, health-promoting (e.g., therapeutic) diets, and vaccines.
Host responses against pathogens (e.g., bacteria, viruses, and parasites) are a complex network of events that depend on coordination across different immune organs and components. In general, the main research focus in fish immunology has been limited to major lymphoid organs, such as head kidney and spleen. However, a great deal of research interest has recently emerged with the focus on mucosal-associated lymphoid tissues (MALT) in teleosts that include four tissue components: gills, gut, nasopharynx, and skin.
This Research Topic intends to present Original Research and Review manuscripts providing a comprehensive perspective on ‘immunotranscriptomics in fish’ with an emphasis on holistic transcriptome profiling of MALT in teleost infection models during an active host-pathogen interaction or fish stimulated with immunomodulators and vaccines.
We welcome authors to submit manuscripts related to transcriptomic profiling in MALT [including gut-associated lymphoid tissue (GALT), gill-associated lymphoid tissue (GIALT), nasopharynx-associated lymphoid tissue (NALT) and skin-associated lymphoid tissue (SALT)]. A comparative investigation could also be conducted to examine the MALT of different fish species or interactions between local and systemic immune responses are welcome.
Keywords: Fish immunology, Immunotranscriptomics, RNA sequencing, Mucosal immunity, Novel biomarker discovery, Whole-transcriptome analysis
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