Heterogeneity in the fat body tissue revealed using single-cell RNA sequencing

2020-04-20T21:50:38Z (GMT) by Vanika Gupta Brian P. Lazzaro
My poster shows use of single-cell transcriptomics approach to understand heterogeneity in the adult fat body tissue and the role tissue plays in operating trade-off between immunity and reproduction.
In our lab, we see that mated females are less immunocompetent compared to virgins when challenged with a gram-negative bacteria; suggesting trade-off between immunity and reproduction.
Fat body tissue in flies is essential for both reproduction and immunity. Therefore, it is likely that the tissue is constrained under mated-infected condition and that results in a trade-off between immunity and reproduction.
We used single-cell transcriptomics of fat body from four different treatment groups - Virgin-Uninfected, Virgin-Infected, Mated-Uninfected and Mated-Infected.
Our results showed heterogeneity in the tissue. We see 19 distinct clusters. We did not see any new cluster being formed or disappeared under different physiological conditions. Our results indicate that mated infected females exhibit higher expression of proteins such as yolk proteins and vitelline membrane proteins compared to virgin. These proteins are required in egg provisioning, suggesting resources being diverted towards reproduction; probably at the cost of immune response.