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

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

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

57 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 328C) 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)
Article number20172654
JournalProceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences
Volume285
Issue number1877
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 25 2018

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Research reported in this publication was supported by funding from KAUST.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018 The Authors.

Keywords

  • Aiptasia
  • Heat stress
  • Oxidative stress
  • Proteomics
  • Thermotolerance
  • Transcriptomics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Immunology and Microbiology
  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Environmental Science
  • General Agricultural and Biological Sciences

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