To find an answer!
We’ve been continuing the search through our DEGs to fill out pathways and to investigate what the diseased stars were up to. We’re looking at Toll and Complement pathways as components of the sea stars’ immune response. Further, we’re trying to see what the transcriptome might be telling us about how the signs of the disease. Echinoderms have mutable collagenous tissues, which they control with their nervous system to become softer or more rigid. In this way, their nervous system has a very large role in their bodies’ structure and function. The melted, twisty stars seem to imply a role of both the nervous system and connective tissue. Disruptions in either could be influencing the changes we see in diseased stars. It will be interesting to see what else we can see in our transcriptome, but it will likely take much more research to be sure what’s going on.