Expression of hsp70, hsp90 and hsf1 in the reef coral Acropora digitifera under prospective acidified conditions over the next several decades

Ocean acidification is an ongoing threat for marine organisms due to the increasing atmospheric CO2 concentration. Seawater acidification has a serious impact on physiologic processes in marine organisms at all life stages. On the other hand, potential tolerance to external pH changes has been reported in coral larvae. Information about the possible mechanisms underlying such tolerance responses, however, is scarce. In the present study, we examined the effects of acidified seawater on the larvae of Acropora digitifera at the molecular level. We targeted two heat shock proteins, Hsp70 and Hsp90, and a heat shock transcription factor, Hsf1, because of their importance in stress responses and in early life developmental stages. Coral larvae were maintained under the ambient and elevated CO2 conditions that are expected to occur within next 100 years, and then we evaluated the expression of hsps and hsf1 by quantitative real‐time polymerase chain reaction (PCR). Expression levels of these molecules significantly differed among target genes, but they did not change significantly between CO2 conditions. These findings indicate that the expression of hsps is not changed due to external pH changes, and suggest that tolerance to acidified seawater in coral larvae may not be related to hsp expression.

Nakamura M., Morita M., Kurihara H., & Mitarai S., in press. Expression of hsp70, hsp90 and hsf1 in the reef coral Acropora digitifera under prospective acidified conditions over the next several decades. Biology Open doi:10.1242/​bio.2011036. Article.


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