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Biol Bull. 2010 Feb;218(1):87-94.

Difference in thermotolerance between green and red color variants of the Japanese sea cucumber, Apostichopus japonicus Selenka: Hsp70 and heat-hardening effect.

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Ocean University of China, Qingdao, People's Republic of China.


We studied thermal tolerance limits, heat-hardening, and Hsp70 to elucidate the difference in thermotolerance between two color variants of the sea cucumber Apostichopus japonicus. Green and Red variants occupy different habitats and have different aestivation responses to high temperature in summer. In the absence of heat-hardening, the variants showed no difference in the temperature at which 50% of the individuals died: Green, 31.49 degrees C; Red, 31.39 degrees C. However, Green specimens acquired higher thermotolerance than Red after a prior sublethal heat exposure. After 72 h of recovery from a heat-hardening treatment (30 degrees C for 2 h), the survival of Green variants was more than 50% and that of Red was less than 5% when they were treated at 33 degrees C for 2 h. Levels of mRNA and protein for Hsp70 were significantly higher in Green than Red after the heat shock of 30 degrees C, and the stability of hsp70 mRNA of Green was significantly higher than that of Red. Our findings suggest that within the same species, different variants that have similar thermal limits in the absence of heat-hardening can acquire different thermotolerances after a prior sublethal heat shock. The difference in induced thermotolerance between Green and Red is closely related to the expression pattern of Hsp70, which was partly governed by the stability of hsp70 mRNA.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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