RNA-seq reveals regional differences in transcriptome response to heat stress in the marine snail Chlorostoma funebralis

TitleRNA-seq reveals regional differences in transcriptome response to heat stress in the marine snail Chlorostoma funebralis
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2015
AuthorsGleason L.U, Burton RS
JournalMolecular Ecology
Date Published2015/02
Type of ArticleArticle
ISBN Number0962-1083
Accession NumberWOS:000348516900007
Keywordsantioxidant responses; cell-cycle arrest; climate-change; ecological genomics; gastropods genus-tegula; heat-shock-protein-70 hsp70; Intertidal; Local adaptation; mollusc; physiological-response; rna-seq; rocky; shock response; Thermal tolerance; thermal-stress; tolerance

To investigate the role of gene expression in adaptation of marine ectotherms to different temperatures, we examined the transcriptome-wide thermal stress response in geographically separated populations of the intertidal snail Chlorostoma funebralis. Snails from two southern (heat tolerant) and two northern (heat sensitive) populations were acclimated to a common thermal environment, exposed to an environmentally relevant thermal stress and analysed using RNA-seq. Pooling across all populations revealed 306 genes with differential expression between control and heat-stressed samples, including 163 significantly upregulated and 143 significantly downregulated genes. When considered separately, regional differences in response were widely apparent. Heat shock proteins (Hsps) were upregulated in both regions, but the magnitude of response was significantly greater in northern populations for most Hsp70s, while the southern populations showed greater upregulation for approximately half of the Hsp40s. Of 177 stress-responsive genes in northern populations, 55 responded to heat stress only in northern populations. Several molecular chaperones and antioxidant genes that were not differentially expressed in southern populations showed higher expression under control conditions compared with northern populations. This suggests that evolution of elevated expression of these genes under benign conditions preadapts the southern populations to frequent heat stress and contributes to their higher thermal tolerance. These results indicate that evolution has resulted in different transcriptome responses across populations, including upregulation of genes in response to stress and preadaptation of genes in anticipation of stress (based on evolutionary history of frequent heat exposure). The relative importance of the two mechanisms differs among gene families and among populations.

Short TitleMol. Ecol.
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