Gene expression of a green fluorescent protein homolog as a host-specific biomarker of heat stress within a reef-building coral

Smith-Keune, C. and Dove, S. (2008) Gene expression of a green fluorescent protein homolog as a host-specific biomarker of heat stress within a reef-building coral. Marine Biotechnology, 10 2: 166-180. doi:10.1007/s10126-007-9049-6


Author Smith-Keune, C.
Dove, S.
Title Gene expression of a green fluorescent protein homolog as a host-specific biomarker of heat stress within a reef-building coral
Journal name Marine Biotechnology   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1436-2228
1436-2236
Publication date 2008-03-01
Year available 2008
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1007/s10126-007-9049-6
Open Access Status Not yet assessed
Volume 10
Issue 2
Start page 166
End page 180
Total pages 15
Editor J.Grant Burgess
Shigetoh Miyachi
Zhanjiang Liu
Place of publication New York, USA
Publisher Springer
Language eng
Subject C1
060203 Ecological Physiology
060808 Invertebrate Biology
069902 Global Change Biology
Abstract Recent incidences of mass coral bleaching indicate that major reef building corals are increasingly suffering thermal stress associated with climate-related temperature increases. The development of pulse amplitude modulated (PAM) fluorometry has enabled rapid detection of the onset of thermal stress within coral algal symbionts, but sensitive biomarkers of thermal stress specific to the host coral have been slower to emerge. Differential display reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (DDRT-PCR) was used to produce fingerprints of gene expression for the reef-building coral Acropora millepora exposed to 33 degrees C. Changes in the expression of 23 out of 399 putative genes occurred within 144 h. Down-regulation of one host-specific gene (AmA1a) occurred within just 6 h. Full-length sequencing revealed the product of this gene to be an all-protein chromatophore (green fluorescent protein [GFP]-homolog). RT-PCR revealed consistent down-regulation of this GFP-homolog for three replicate colonies within 6 h at both 32 degrees C and 33 degrees C but not at lower temperatures. Down-regulation of this host gene preceded significant decreases in the photosynthetic activity of photosystem II (dark-adapted F-v/F-m) of algal symbionts as measured by PAM fluorometry. Gene expression of host-specific genes such as GFP-homologs may therefore prove to be highly sensitive indicators for the onset of thermal stress within host coral cells.
Formatted abstract
Recent incidences of mass coral bleaching indicate that major reef building corals are increasingly suffering thermal stress associated with climate related temperature increases. The development of pulse amplitude modulated (PAM) fluorometry has enabled rapid detection of the onset of thermal stress within coral algal symbionts, but sensitive biomarkers of thermal stress specific to the host coral have been slower to emerge. Differential display reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (DDRT-PCR) was used to produce fingerprints of gene expression for the reef-building coral Acropora millepora exposed to 33-C. Changes in the expression of 23 out of 399 putative genes occurred within 144 h. Down-regulation of one host-specific gene (AmA1a) occurred within just 6 h. Full-length sequencing revealed the product of this gene to be an all-protein chromatophore (green fluorescent protein [GFP]-homolog). RT-PCR revealed consistent down-regulation of this GFP-homolog for three replicate colonies within 6 h at both 32-C and 33-C but not at lower temperatures. Down-regulation of this host gene preceded significant decreases in the photosynthetic activity of photosystem II (darkadapted Fv/Fm) of algal symbionts as measured by PAM fluorometry. Gene expression of host-specific genes such as GFP-homologs may therefore prove to be highly sensitive indicators for the onset of thermal stress within host coral cells.
Keyword Biomarkers — — — — —
Coral bleaching
Differential Display
Gene expression
Green Fluorescent Protein
Host Pigments
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

 
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Created: Thu, 16 Apr 2009, 23:15:34 EST by Peter Fogarty on behalf of Centre for Marine Studies