Background: Climate change is one of the main factors shaping the distribution and biodiversity of organisms, among others by greatly altering water availability, thus exposing species and ecosystems to harsh desiccation conditions. However, most of the studies so far have focused on the effects of increased temperature. Integrating transcriptomics and physiology is key to advancing our knowledge on how species cope with desiccation stress, and these studies are still best accomplished in model organisms. Results: Here, we characterized the natural variation of European D. melanogaster populations across climate zones and found that strains from arid regions were similar or more tolerant to desiccation compared with strains from temperate regions. Tolerant and sensitive strains differed not only in their transcriptomic response to stress but also in their basal expression levels. We further showed that gene expression changes in tolerant strains correlated with their physiological response to desiccation stress and with their cuticular hydrocarbon composition, and functionally validated three of the candidate genes identified. Transposable elements, which are known to influence stress response across organisms, were not found to be enriched nearby differentially expressed genes. Finally, we identified several tRNA-derived small RNA fragments that differentially targeted genes in response to desiccation stress. Conclusions: Overall, our results showed that basal gene expression differences across individuals should be analyzed if we are to understand the genetic basis of differential stress survival. Moreover, tRNA-derived small RNA fragments appear to be relevant across stress responses and allow for the identification of stress-response genes not detected at the transcriptional level.

Horváth, V.; Guirao-Rico, S.; Salces-Ortiz, J.; Rech, G.E.; Green, L.; Aprea, E.; Rodeghiero, M.; Anfora, G.; González, J. (2023-02-16). Gene expression differences consistent with water loss reduction underlie desiccation tolerance of natural Drosophila populations. BMC BIOLOGY, 21 (1): 35. doi: 10.1186/s12915-023-01530-4 handle: https://hdl.handle.net/10449/83275

Gene expression differences consistent with water loss reduction underlie desiccation tolerance of natural Drosophila populations

Aprea, Eugenio;Rodeghiero, Mirco;Anfora, Gianfranco;
2023-02-16

Abstract

Background: Climate change is one of the main factors shaping the distribution and biodiversity of organisms, among others by greatly altering water availability, thus exposing species and ecosystems to harsh desiccation conditions. However, most of the studies so far have focused on the effects of increased temperature. Integrating transcriptomics and physiology is key to advancing our knowledge on how species cope with desiccation stress, and these studies are still best accomplished in model organisms. Results: Here, we characterized the natural variation of European D. melanogaster populations across climate zones and found that strains from arid regions were similar or more tolerant to desiccation compared with strains from temperate regions. Tolerant and sensitive strains differed not only in their transcriptomic response to stress but also in their basal expression levels. We further showed that gene expression changes in tolerant strains correlated with their physiological response to desiccation stress and with their cuticular hydrocarbon composition, and functionally validated three of the candidate genes identified. Transposable elements, which are known to influence stress response across organisms, were not found to be enriched nearby differentially expressed genes. Finally, we identified several tRNA-derived small RNA fragments that differentially targeted genes in response to desiccation stress. Conclusions: Overall, our results showed that basal gene expression differences across individuals should be analyzed if we are to understand the genetic basis of differential stress survival. Moreover, tRNA-derived small RNA fragments appear to be relevant across stress responses and allow for the identification of stress-response genes not detected at the transcriptional level.
Cuticular hydrocarbons
Insect physiology
Post-transcriptional regulation
Respiration rate
Water content
tRFs
Settore AGR/11 - ENTOMOLOGIA GENERALE E APPLICATA
16-feb-2023
Horváth, V.; Guirao-Rico, S.; Salces-Ortiz, J.; Rech, G.E.; Green, L.; Aprea, E.; Rodeghiero, M.; Anfora, G.; González, J. (2023-02-16). Gene expression differences consistent with water loss reduction underlie desiccation tolerance of natural Drosophila populations. BMC BIOLOGY, 21 (1): 35. doi: 10.1186/s12915-023-01530-4 handle: https://hdl.handle.net/10449/83275
File in questo prodotto:
File Dimensione Formato  
2023 BMC B Rodeghiero.pdf

accesso aperto

Tipologia: Versione editoriale (Publisher’s layout)
Licenza: Creative commons
Dimensione 2.64 MB
Formato Adobe PDF
2.64 MB Adobe PDF Visualizza/Apri

I documenti in IRIS sono protetti da copyright e tutti i diritti sono riservati, salvo diversa indicazione.

Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/10449/83275
Citazioni
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.pmc??? 2
  • Scopus 1
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.isi??? 1
social impact