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Journal Articles BMC Genomics Year : 2019

Cold acclimation triggers major transcriptional changes in Drosophila suzukii


Background - Insects have the capacity to adjust their physiological mechanisms during their lifetime to promote cold tolerance and cope with sublethal thermal conditions, a phenomenon referred to as thermal acclimation. The spotted wing drosophila, Drosophila suzukii, is an invasive fruit pest that, like many other species, enhances its thermotolerance in response to thermal acclimation. However, little is known about the underlying mechanisms of this plastic response. Here, we promoted flies' cold tolerance by gradually increasing acclimation duration (i.e. pre-exposure from 2 h to 9 days at 10 °C), and then compared transcriptomic responses of cold hardy versus cold susceptible phenotypes using RNA sequencing. Results - Cold tolerance of D. suzukii increased with acclimation duration; the longer the acclimation, the higher the cold tolerance. Cold-tolerant flies that were acclimated for 9 days were selected for transcriptomic analyses. RNA sequencing revealed a total of 2908 differentially expressed genes: 1583 were up- and 1325 were downregulated in cold acclimated flies. Functional annotation revealed many enriched GO-terms among which ionic transport across membranes and signaling were highly represented in acclimated flies. Neuronal activity and carbohydrate metabolism were also enriched GO-terms in acclimated flies. Results also revealed many GO-terms related to oogenesis which were underrepresented in acclimated flies. Conclusions - Involvement of a large cluster of genes related to ion transport in cold acclimated flies suggests adjustments in the capacity to maintain ion and water homeostasis. These processes are key mechanisms underlying cold tolerance in insects. Down regulation of genes related to oogenesis in cold acclimated females likely reflects that females were conditioned at 10 °C, a temperature that prevents oogenesis. Overall, these results help to understand the molecular underpinnings of cold tolerance acquisition in D. suzukii. These data are of importance considering that the invasive success of D. suzukii in diverse climatic regions relates to its high thermal plasticity.
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hal-02150230 , version 1 (04-07-2019)



Thomas Enriquez, Hervé Colinet. Cold acclimation triggers major transcriptional changes in Drosophila suzukii. BMC Genomics, 2019, 20 (1), pp.413. ⟨10.1186/s12864-019-5745-7⟩. ⟨hal-02150230⟩
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