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J Evol Biol. 2005 Jul;18(4):756-62.

Effects of inbreeding and rate of inbreeding in Drosophila melanogaster- Hsp70 expression and fitness.

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1
Aarhus Centre for Environmental Stress Research (ACES), Department of Ecology and Genetics, University of Aarhus, Ny Munkegade, Aarhus C, Denmark. kamilla.sofie.pedersen@biology.au.dk

Abstract

Induction of heat shock proteins (Hsp) is a well-known mechanism through which cells cope with stressful conditions. Hsp are induced by a variety of extrinsic stressors. However, recently intrinsic stressors (aging and inbreeding) have been shown to affect expression of Hsp. Increased homozygosity due to inbreeding may disrupt cellular homeostasis by causing increased expression of recessive deleterious mutations and breakdown of epistatic interactions. We investigated the effect of inbreeding and the rate of inbreeding on the expression of Hsp70, larval heat resistance and fecundity. In Drosophila melanogaster we found that inbred lines (F approximately 0.67) had significantly up-regulated expression of Hsp70, and reduced heat resistance and fecundity as compared with outbred control lines. A significant negative correlation was observed between Hsp70 expression and resistance to an extreme heat stress in inbred lines. We interpreted this as an increased requirement for Hsp70 in the lines suffering most from inbreeding depression. Inbreeding depression for fecundity was reduced with a slower rate of inbreeding compared with a fast rate of inbreeding. Thus, the effectiveness of purging seems to be improved with a slower rate of inbreeding.

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