Rapid acclimation of juvenile corals to CO2-mediated acidification by upregulation of heat shock protein and Bcl-2 genes

Moya, A., Huisman, L., Fêret, S., Gattuso, J-P., Hayward, D.C., Ball, E.E., and Miller, D.J. (2015) Rapid acclimation of juvenile corals to CO2-mediated acidification by upregulation of heat shock protein and Bcl-2 genes. Molecular Ecology, 24 (2). pp. 438-452.

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Corals play a key role in ocean ecosystems and carbonate balance, but their molecular response to ocean acidification remains unclear. The only previous whole-transcriptome study (Moya et al. Molecular Ecology, 2012; 21, 2440) documented extensive disruption of gene expression, particularly of genes encoding skeletal organic matrix proteins, in juvenile corals (Acropora millepora) after short-term (3 d) exposure to elevated pCO2. In this study, whole-transcriptome analysis was used to compare the effects of such 'acute' (3 d) exposure to elevated pCO2 with a longer ('prolonged'; 9 d) period of exposure beginning immediately post-fertilization. Far fewer genes were differentially expressed under the 9-d treatment, and although the transcriptome data implied wholesale disruption of metabolism and calcification genes in the acute treatment experiment, expression of most genes was at control levels after prolonged treatment. There was little overlap between the genes responding to the acute and prolonged treatments, but heat shock proteins (HSPs) and heat shock factors (HSFs) were over-represented amongst the genes responding to both treatments. Amongst these was an HSP70 gene previously shown to be involved in acclimation to thermal stress in a field population of another acroporid coral. The most obvious feature of the molecular response in the 9-d treatment experiment was the upregulation of five distinct Bcl-2 family members, the majority predicted to be anti-apoptotic. This suggests that an important component of the longer term response to elevated CO2 is suppression of apoptosis. It therefore appears that juvenile A. millepora have the capacity to rapidly acclimate to elevated pCO2, a process mediated by upregulation of specific HSPs and a suite of Bcl-2 family members.

Item ID: 37126
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1365-294X
Keywords: Acropora millepora, Bcl-2, caspases, climate change, corals, heat shock proteins
Funders: Australian Research Council (ARC), European FP7 Framework, Marie Curie Outgoing International Fellowship
Projects and Grants: ARC DP1095343, Marie Curie International Outgoing Fellowship Grant No PIOF-GA-2008-235142, European Project on Ocean Acidification (EPOCA) Grant No211384
Date Deposited: 17 Jun 2015 02:48
FoR Codes: 06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0699 Other Biological Sciences > 069902 Global Change Biology @ 40%
06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0604 Genetics > 060405 Gene Expression (incl Microarray and other genome-wide approaches) @ 40%
06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0608 Zoology > 060808 Invertebrate Biology @ 20%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9603 Climate and Climate Change > 960305 Ecosystem Adaptation to Climate Change @ 70%
96 ENVIRONMENT > 9603 Climate and Climate Change > 960307 Effects of Climate Change and Variability on Australia (excl. Social Impacts) @ 30%
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