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Cell Stress Chaperones. 2009 Sep;14(5):469-76. doi: 10.1007/s12192-009-0100-6. Epub 2009 Feb 12.

Increased light intensity induces heat shock protein Hsp60 in coral species.

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Department of Biological Sciences, University of Toronto at Scarborough, Toronto, Ontario M1C 1A4, Canada.


The effect of increased light intensity and heat stress on heat shock protein Hsp60 was examined in two coral species using a branched coral and a laminar coral, selected for their different resistance to environmental perturbation. Transient Hsp60 induction was observed in the laminar coral following either light or thermal stress. Sustained induction was observed when these stresses were combined. The branched coral exhibited comparatively weak transient Hsp60 induction after heat stress and no detectable induction following light stress, consistent with its susceptibility to bleaching in native environments compared to the laminar coral. Our observations also demonstrate that increased light intensity and heat stress exhibited a greater negative impact on the photosynthetic capacity of environmentally sensitive branched coral than the more resistant laminar coral. This supports a correlation between stress induction of Hsp60 and (a) ability to counter perturbation of photosynthetic capacity by light and heat stress and (b) resistance to environmentally induced coral bleaching.

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