The Ghost of Temperature Past: Interactive Effects of Previous and Current Thermal Conditions on Gene Expression in Manduca sexta

April 22, 2020 | Biology

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Meggan A. Alston, Jeeyun Lee, M. Elizabeth Moore, Joel G. Kingsolver, and Christopher S. Willett

High temperatures can negatively impact the performance and survival of organisms, particularly ectotherms. While an organism's response to high temperature stress clearly depends on current thermal conditions, its response may also be affected by the temporal pattern and duration of past temperature exposures. We used RNA sequencing of Manduca sexta larvae fat body tissue to evaluate how diurnal temperature fluctuations during development affected gene expression both independently and in conjunction with subsequent heat stress. Additionally, we compared gene expression between two M. sexta populations, a lab colony and a genetically related field population that have been separated for >300 generations and differ in their thermal sensitivities. Lab-adapted larvae were predicted to show increased expression responses to both single and repeated thermal stres... Want to read more? Read the entire article in the Journal of Experimental Biology Blog.

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