Survival and Hsp70 Gene Expression in Plutella xylostella and Its Larval Parasitoid Diadegma insulare Varied between Slowly Ramping and Abrupt Extreme Temperature Regimes

Bahar, M.H., Hegedus, D.D., Soroka, J.J., Coutu, C., Bekkaoui, D.R., and Dosdall, L.M. (2013). "Survival and Hsp70 Gene Expression in Plutella xylostella and Its Larval Parasitoid Diadegma insulare Varied between Slowly Ramping and Abrupt Extreme Temperature Regimes", PLoS ONE, 8(9: Article e73901). doi : 10.1371/journal.pone.0073901  Access to full text

Abstract

Background: In nature, insects have evolved behavioural and physiological adaptations to cope with short term exposure to extreme temperatures. Extreme heat events may increase as a result of climate change; this in turn will affect insect population dynamics. We examined the effect of abrupt and ecologically relevant gradual exposure to high temperatures on the survival and hsp70 gene expression in diamondback moth (DBM) adults and the parasitoid Diadegma insulare, as well as in parasitized and non-parasitized DBM larvae. Principal Findings: Tolerance to high temperatures in DBM adults was higher than in D. insulare adults. There was no difference in the survival of DBM adults between abrupt and ramped increases from 25 to 38°C; however, at 40°C survival was higher when the temperature increased gradually. In contrast, more D. insulare adults survived when the temperature was ramped rather than shifted abruptly to both 38 and 40°C. There was no heat stress effect of up to 40°C on the survival of either parasitized or non-parasitized DBM larvae. In adults of both species, more hsp70 expression was observed when temperatures increased abruptly to 38°C compared to ramping. In contrast, at 40°C significantly more expression was found in insects exposed to the ramping rather than the abrupt regime. Hsp70 expression level was in agreement with adult survival data and appears to be a good indicator of stress levels. In parasitized and non-parasitized larvae, hsp70 expression was significantly higher after abrupt shifts compared to ramping at both temperatures. Conclusions/Significance: Hsp70 gene expression was responsive to extreme temperatures in both DBM and D. insulare, which may underlie the ability of these insects to survive in extreme temperatures. Survival and hsp70 expression upon abrupt changes are distinctly different from those after ramping indicating that experimental protocol must be considered before extrapolating laboratory results to natural field situations.

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