Molecular response to extreme summer temperatures differs between two genetically differentiated populations of a coral reef fish

Veilleux, Heather D., Ryu, Taewoo, Donelson, Jennifer M., Ravasi, Timothy, and Munday, Philip L. (2018) Molecular response to extreme summer temperatures differs between two genetically differentiated populations of a coral reef fish. Frontiers in Marine Science, 5. 349.

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Extreme thermal events are increasing in frequency and duration as the climate continues to warm, with potential detrimental effects on marine organisms. However, the effects of heatwaves may differ among geographically separated populations depending on their capacity for thermal plasticity. Here, we compared the response to simulated summer heatwave temperatures (+1.5 and +3.0°C above average) in two populations of a coral reef damselfish with different capacities for thermal plasticity. We found that the more thermally tolerant population had greater plasticity of gene expression and had significantly more downregulated genes, which may provide more energy to repair damage associated with thermal stress and to maintain basic functions at these extreme temperatures. In contrast, the thermally sensitive population exhibited higher basal levels of heat shock proteins and had three times fewer changes in gene expression overall. The limited changes in gene regulation suggest that individuals have reduced genome plasticity to tolerate thermal fluctuations and consequently may not have enough energy to repair damage and resume cellular homeostasis at extreme temperatures. Thus, we have identified the molecular signatures of how two genetically distinct fish populations cope with an extreme thermal event, and why they differ in their capacity for thermal plasticity.

Item ID: 58525
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 2296-7745
Keywords: Climate change; Genomics; Heatwaves; Local adaptation; Ocean warming; Plasticity; Transcriptomics
Copyright Information: © 2018 Veilleux, Ryu, Donelson, Ravasi and Munday. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.
Funders: King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST), Australian Research Council (ARC), ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies (CECRS), APEC Climate Center, South Korea
Projects and Grants: KAUST OCRF-2014-CRG3-62140408
Date Deposited: 05 Jun 2019 01:57
FoR Codes: 31 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 3103 Ecology > 310305 Marine and estuarine ecology (incl. marine ichthyology) @ 100%
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