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Mol Biol Evol. 2018 Oct 1;35(10):2401-2413. doi: 10.1093/molbev/msy132.

Duplication of hsp-110 Is Implicated in Differential Success of Globodera Species under Climate Change.

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Center for Plant Sciences, Faculty of Biological Sciences, University of Leeds, Leeds, UK.
School of Biology, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK.
School of Molecular and Cell Biology and Astbury Centre for Structural Molecular Biology, Faculty of Biological Sciences, University of Leeds, Leeds, UK.


Managing the emergence and spread of crop pests and pathogens is essential for global food security. Understanding how organisms have adapted to their native climate is key to predicting the impact of climate change. The potato cyst nematodes Globodera pallida and G. rostochiensis are economically important plant pathogens that cause yield losses of up to 50% in potato. The two species have different thermal optima that may relate to differences in the altitude of their regions of origin in the Andes. Here, we demonstrate that juveniles of G. pallida are less able to recover from heat stress than those of G. rostochiensis. Genome-wide analysis revealed that while both Globodera species respond to heat stress by induction of various protective heat-inducible genes, G. pallida experiences heat stress at lower temperatures. We use C. elegans as a model to demonstrate the dependence of the heat stress response on expression of Heat Shock Factor-1 (HSF-1). Moreover, we show that hsp-110 is induced by heat stress in G. rostochiensis, but not in the less thermotolerant G. pallida. Sequence analysis revealed that this gene and its promoter was duplicated in G. rostochiensis and acquired thermoregulatory properties. We show that hsp-110 is required for recovery from acute thermal stress in both C. elegans and in G. rostochiensis. Our findings point towards an underlying molecular mechanism that allows the differential expansion of one species relative to another closely related species under current climate change scenarios. Similar mechanisms may be true of other invertebrate species with pest status.

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