AB 23:265-274 (2015)  -  DOI: https://doi.org/10.3354/ab00626

Reproduction reduces HSP70 expression capacity in Argopecten purpuratus scallops subject to hypoxia and heat stress

Katherina Brokordt*, Hernán Pérez, Catalina Herrera, Alvaro Gallardo

Centro de Estudios Avanzados en Zonas Áridas (CEAZA), Universidad Católica del Norte, Larrondo 1281, Coquimbo, Chile
*Corresponding author:

ABSTRACT: In scallops, gonad production is highly demanding energetically, and reproduction usually occurs during spring-summer, a period of strong environmental changes. The synthesis of heat-shock proteins (HSPs) is a major mechanism of stress tolerance in animals, including scallops, and HSP expression contributes considerably to cellular energy demand. Therefore, reproductive investment may limit the availability of energy (in terms of ATP) for the expression of HSP in organisms exposed to environmental stress. We evaluated the stress response capacity of adult Argopecten purpuratus scallops to high temperature and hypoxia. Stress response capacity was assessed through gene expression (for temperature stress) and protein induction of 70 kD HSP at 3 reproductive stages: immature, mature and spawned. We also evaluated the effect of reproductive status on the cellular ATP provisioning capacity through citrate synthase activity. Immature scallops exposed to thermal stress showed 1.3- and 1.5-fold increases in hsp70 mRNA and HSP70 protein levels, respectively, and those exposed to hypoxia doubled their level of HSP70 compared to non-stressed immature scallops. However, following gonad maturation and spawning, hsp70 mRNA increased by only 0.49- and 0.65-fold, respectively, after thermal stress and HSP70 protein levels of scallops exposed to thermal and hypoxia stressors did not differ from those of non-stressed animals. In parallel, citrate synthase showed its highest level in immature scallops, declined with gonad maturation, and was lowest in spawned scallops. These results suggest that reproductive investment reduces the stress response capacity of A. purpuratus and that mature and spawned scallops could be more vulnerable to environmental stressors than immature individuals.


KEY WORDS: Reproductive cost · HSP70 · hsp70 mRNA · Stress response · Thermal stress · Hypoxia stress · Scallops · Argopecten purpuratus


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Cite this article as: Brokordt K, Pérez H, Herrera C, Gallardo A (2015) Reproduction reduces HSP70 expression capacity in Argopecten purpuratus scallops subject to hypoxia and heat stress. Aquat Biol 23:265-274. https://doi.org/10.3354/ab00626

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