Multi-omics analysis of thermal stress response in a zooxanthellate cnidarian reveals the importance of associating with thermotolerant symbionts

Maha Joana Cziesielski, Yi Jin Liew, Guoxin Cui, Sebastian Schmidt-Roach, Sara Campana, Claudius Marondedze, Manuel Aranda

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations

Abstract

Corals and their endosymbiotic dinoflagellates of the genus Symbiodinium have a fragile relationship that breaks down under heat stress, an event known as bleaching. However, many coral species have adapted to high temperature environments such as the Red Sea (RS). To investigate mechanisms underlying temperature adaptation in zooxanthellate cnidarians we compared transcriptome- and proteome-wide heat stress response (24 h at 32°C) of three strains of the model organism Aiptasia pallida from regions with differing temperature profiles; North Carolina (CC7), Hawaii (H2) and the RS. Correlations between transcript and protein levels were generally low but inter-strain comparisons highlighted a common core cnidarian response to heat stress, including protein folding and oxidative stress pathways. RS anemones showed the strongest increase in antioxidant gene expression and exhibited significantly lower reactive oxygen species (ROS) levels in hospite However, comparisons of antioxidant gene and protein expression between strains did not show strong differences, indicating similar antioxidant capacity across the strains. Subsequent analysis of ROS production in isolated symbionts confirmed that the observed differences of ROS levels in hospite were symbiont-driven. Our findings indicate that RS anemones do not show increased antioxidant capacity but may have adapted to higher temperatures through association with more thermally tolerant symbionts.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)20172654
JournalProceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences
Volume285
Issue number1877
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 18 2018

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