Location-specific responses to thermal stress in larvae of the reef-building coral Montastraea faveolata

Polato, Nicholas R., Voolstra, Christian R., Schnetzer, Julia, DeSalvo, Michael K., Randall, Carly J., Szmant, Alina M., Medina, Mo ́nica, and Baums, Iliana B. (2010) Location-specific responses to thermal stress in larvae of the reef-building coral Montastraea faveolata. PLoS ONE, 5 (6). e11221.

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Abstract

Background

The potential to adapt to a changing climate depends in part upon the standing genetic variation present in wild populations. In corals, the dispersive larval phase is particularly vulnerable to the effects of environmental stress. Larval survival and response to stress during dispersal and settlement will play a key role in the persistence of coral populations.

Methodology/Principal Findings

To test the hypothesis that larval transcription profiles reflect location-specific responses to thermal stress, symbiont-free gametes from three to four colonies of the scleractinian coral Montastraea faveolata were collected from Florida and Mexico, fertilized, and raised under mean and elevated (up 1 to 2°C above summer mean) temperatures. These locations have been shown to exchange larvae frequently enough to prevent significant differentiation of neutral loci. Differences among 1,310 unigenes were simultaneously characterized using custom cDNA microarrays, allowing investigation of gene expression patterns among larvae generated from wild populations under stress. Results show both conserved and location-specific variation in key processes including apoptosis, cell structuring, adhesion and development, energy and protein metabolism, and response to stress, in embryos of a reef-building coral.

Conclusions/Significance

These results provide first insights into location-specific variation in gene expression in the face of gene flow, and support the hypothesis that coral host genomes may house adaptive potential needed to deal with changing environmental conditions.

Item ID: 64837
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1932-6203
Copyright Information: © 2010 Polato et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
Funders: National Science Foundation (NSF), National Science Foundation Division of Ocean Sciences (NSF OCE), National Science Foundation Division of Intagrative Organismal Systems (NSF IOS), University of California (UC)
Projects and Grants: NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program, NSF OCE 0825979, NSF IOS 0644438, NSF OCE 0313708, UC Mexus grant
Date Deposited: 17 Dec 2020 02:01
FoR Codes: 06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0608 Zoology > 060803 Animal Developmental and Reproductive Biology @ 50%
06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0608 Zoology > 060808 Invertebrate Biology @ 25%
06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0606 Physiology > 060602 Animal Physiology - Cell @ 25%
SEO Codes: 97 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 970106 Expanding Knowledge in the Biological Sciences @ 100%
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