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Intraspecific variation in oxidative stress tolerance in a model cnidarian: Differences in peroxide sensitivity between and within populations of Nematostella vectensis

Friedman, Lauren E ; Gilmore, Thomas D ; Finnerty, John R Steele, Robert E. (editor)

PLoS ONE, 2018, Vol.13(1) [Peer Reviewed Journal]

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  • Title:
    Intraspecific variation in oxidative stress tolerance in a model cnidarian: Differences in peroxide sensitivity between and within populations of Nematostella vectensis
  • Author: Friedman, Lauren E ; Gilmore, Thomas D ; Finnerty, John R
  • Steele, Robert E. (editor)
  • Subjects: Research Article ; Biology And Life Sciences ; Biology And Life Sciences ; Physical Sciences ; Medicine And Health Sciences ; Biology And Life Sciences ; Research And Analysis Methods ; Biology And Life Sciences ; Biology And Life Sciences ; Biology And Life Sciences ; Earth Sciences ; Ecology And Environmental Sciences
  • Is Part Of: PLoS ONE, 2018, Vol.13(1)
  • Description: Nematostella vectensis is a member of the phylum Cnidaria, a lineage that includes anemones, corals, hydras, and jellyfishes. This estuarine anemone is an excellent model system for investigating the evolution of stress tolerance because it is easy to collect in its natural habitat and to culture in the laboratory, and it has a sequenced genome. Additionally, there is evidence of local adaptation to environmental stress in different N . vectensis populations, and abundant protein-coding polymorphisms have been identified, including polymorphisms in proteins that are implicated in stress responses. N . vectensis can tolerate a wide range of environmental parameters, and has recently been shown to have substantial intraspecific variation in temperature preference. We investigated whether different clonal lines of anemones also exhibit differential tolerance to oxidative stress. N . vectensis populations are continually exposed to reactive oxygen species (ROS) generated during cellular metabolism and by other environmental factors. Fifteen clonal lines of N . vectensis collected from four different estuaries were exposed to hydrogen peroxide. Pronounced differences in survival and regeneration were apparent between clonal lines collected from Meadowlands, NJ, Baruch, SC, and Kingsport, NS, as well as among 12 clonal lines collected from a single Cape Cod marsh. To our knowledge, this is the first example of intraspecific variability in oxidative stress resistance in cnidarians or in any marine animal. As oxidative stress often accompanies heat stress in marine organisms, resistance to oxidative stress could strongly influence survival in warming oceans. For example, while elevated temperatures trigger bleaching in corals, oxidative stress is thought to be the proximal trigger of bleaching at the cellular level.
  • Identifier: E-ISSN: 1932-6203 ; DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0188265 ; PMCID: 5786289 ; PMID: 29373572

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