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Early transcriptional response pathways in Daphnia magna are coordinated in networks of crustacean-specific genes

Tijdschriftbijdrage - Tijdschriftartikel

Natural habitats are exposed to an increasing number of environmental stressors that cause important ecological consequences. However, the multifarious nature of environmental change, the strength and the relative timing of each stressor largely limit our understanding of biological responses to environmental change. In particu-lar, early response to unpredictable environmental change, critical to survival and fitness in later life stages, is largely uncharacterized. Here, we characterize the earlytranscriptional response of the keystone species Daphnia magna to twelve environmental perturbations, including biotic and abiotic stressors. We first perform a differential expression analysis aimed at identifying differential regulation of individual genes in response to stress. This preliminary analysis revealed that a few individual genes were responsive to environmental perturbations and they were modulated ina stressor and genotype-specific manner. Given the limited number of differentiallyregulated genes, we were unable to identify pathways involved in stress response.Hence, to gain a better understanding of the genetic and functional foundation of tolerance to multiple environmental stressors, we leveraged the correlative natureof networks and performed a weighted gene co-expression network analysis. Wediscovered that approximately one-third of the Daphnia genes, enriched for metabo-lism, cell signalling and general stress response, drives transcriptional early responseto environmental stress and it is shared among genetic backgrounds. This initialresponse is followed by a genotype- and/or condition-specific transcriptionalresponse with a strong genotype-by-environment interaction. Intriguingly, genotype-and condition-specific transcriptional response is found in genes not conservedbeyond crustaceans, suggesting niche-specific adaptation.
Tijdschrift: Molecular Ecology
ISSN: 0962-1083
Issue: 27
Volume: 2018
Pagina's: 886 - 897
Jaar van publicatie:2018