Large within, and between, species differences in marine cellular responses: Unpredictability in a changing environment

Predicting the impacts of altered environments on future biodiversity requires a detailed understanding of organism responses to change. To date, studies evaluating mechanisms underlying marine organism stress responses have largely concentrated on oxygen limitation and the use of heat shock proteins as biomarkers. However, whether these biomarkers represent responses that are consistent across species and different environmental stressors remains open to question. Here we show that responses to four different thermal stresses (three rates of thermal ramping (1°C h-1, 1°C dy-1 or 1°C 3 dy-1) and a three-month acclimation to warming of 2°C) applied to three species of Antarctic marine invertebrate produced highly individual responses in gene expression profiles, both within and between species. Mapping the gene expression profiles from each treatment for each of the three species, identified considerable difference in numbers of differentially regulated transcripts ranging from 10 to 3,011. When these data were correlated across the different temperature treatments, there was no evidence for a common response with only 0-2 transcripts shared between all four treatments within any one species. There were also no shared differentially expressed genes across species, even at the same thermal ramping rates. The classical cellular stress response (CSR) i.e. up-regulation of heat shock proteins, was only strongly present in two species at the fastest ramping rate of 1°C hr-1, albeit with different sets of stress genes expressed in each species. These data demonstrate the wide variability in response to warming at the molecular level in marine species. Therefore, identification of biodiversity stress responses engendered by changing conditions will require evaluation at the species level using targeted key members of the ecosystem, strongly correlated to the local biotic and abiotic factors.


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Authors: Collins, Michael ORCIDORCID record for Michael Collins, Peck, Lloyd S. ORCIDORCID record for Lloyd S. Peck, Clark, Melody S. ORCIDORCID record for Melody S. Clark

On this site: Lloyd Peck, Martin Collins, Melody Clark
10 November, 2021
Science of the Total Environment / 794
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