MEPS 355:193-207 (2008)  -  doi:10.3354/meps07207

Differential gene expression in diapausing and active Calanus finmarchicus (Copepoda)

Ann M. Tarrant1,*,**, Mark F. Baumgartner1,**, Tim Verslycke1, Catherine Lynn Johnson2

1Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, 45 Water Street, Woods Hole, Massachusetts 02540, USA
2Bedford Institute of Oceanography, 1 Challenger Drive, PO Box 1006, Dartmouth, Nova Scotia B2Y 4A2, Canada
*Email:   **These 2 authors contributed equally to this paper

ABSTRACT: To survive long periods of low food availability, some calanoid copepods have a life history that includes a diapause phase during which copepodids delay development to adulthood, migrate to depth, reduce metabolism, and utilize stored lipids for nourishment. While seasonal patterns in diapause have been described, the environmental and physiological regulation of diapause has not been elucidated. We collected Calanus finmarchicus C5 copepodids from surface (0 to 39 m) and deep (157 to 201 m) waters in the Gulf of Maine, and both morphological and biochemical measurements indicated that these copepodids were from active and diapausing populations, respectively. Two complementary molecular techniques were used to compare gene expression in these 2 groups: (1) suppressive subtractive hybridization (SSH) was used to identify genes that may be differentially expressed, and (2) quantitative real-time RT-PCR was used to characterize patterns of gene expression in individual copepodids. Three genes associated with lipid synthesis, transport and storage (ELOV, FABP, RDH) were upregulated (more highly expressed) in active copepods, particularly those with small oil sacs. Expression of ferritin was greater in diapausing copepods with large oil sacs, consistent with a role of ferritin in chelating metals to protect cells from oxidative stress and/or delay development. Ecdysteroid receptor (EcR) expression was greater in diapausing copepods, highlighting the need for further investigation into endocrine regulation of copepod development. This study represents the first molecular characterization of gene expression associated with calanoid copepod diapause and provides a foundation for future investigations of the underlying mechanisms that regulate diapause.


KEY WORDS: Diapause · Copepod · Calanus finmarchicus · Subtractive hybridization · Gene expression · Gulf of Maine


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Cite this article as: Tarrant AM, Baumgartner MF, Verslycke T, Johnson CL (2008) Differential gene expression in diapausing and active Calanus finmarchicus (Copepoda). Mar Ecol Prog Ser 355:193-207

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