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Proteomic data reveal a physiological basis for costs and benefits associated with thermal acclimation

  • Torsten N Kristensen
  • Henrik Kjeldal
  • Mads F Schou
  • Jeppe Lund Nielsen
Publishing year: 2016
Language: English
Pages: 969-976
Publication/Series: Journal of Experimental Biology
Volume: 219
Document type: Journal article
Publisher: The Company of Biologists Ltd

Abstract english

Physiological adaptation through acclimation is one way to cope with temperature changes. Biochemical studies on acclimation responses in ectotherms have so far mainly investigated consequences of short-term acclimation at the adult stage and focussed on adaptive responses. Here, we assessed the consequences of rearing Drosophila melanogaster at low (12°C), benign (25°C) and high (31°C) temperatures. We assessed cold and heat tolerance and obtained detailed proteomic profiles of flies from the three temperatures. The proteomic profiles provided a holistic understanding of the underlying biology associated with both adaptive and non-adaptive temperature responses. Results show strong benefits and costs across tolerances: rearing at low temperature increased adult cold tolerance and decreased adult heat tolerance and vice versa with development at high temperatures. In the proteomic analysis, we were able to identify and quantify a large number of proteins compared with previous studies on ectotherms (1440 proteins across all replicates and rearing regimes), enabling us to extend the proteomic approach using enrichment analyses. This gave us detailed information on individual proteins, as well as pathways affected by rearing temperature, pinpointing potential mechanisms responsible for the strong costs and benefits of rearing temperature on functional phenotypes. Several well-known heat shock proteins, as well as proteins not previously associated with thermal stress, were among the differentially expressed proteins. Upregulation of proteasome proteins was found to be an important adaptive process at high-stress rearing temperatures, and occurs at the expense of downregulation of basal metabolic functions.


  • Zoology
  • Ecology
  • acclimation,heat and cold stress,heat shock,metabolism,proteasome,proteins,proteomics


  • ISSN: 1477-9145
Mads Schou
E-mail: mads [dot] schou [at] biol [dot] lu [dot] se

Postdoctoral fellow