Efficient utilization of aerobic metabolism helps Tibetan locusts conquer hypoxiaReport as inadecuate

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BMC Genomics

, 14:631

Multicellular invertebrate genomics


BackgroundResponses to hypoxia have been investigated in many species; however, comparative studies between conspecific geographical populations at different altitudes are rare, especially for invertebrates. The migratory locust, Locusta migratoria, is widely distributed around the world, including on the high-altitude Tibetan Plateau TP and the low-altitude North China Plain NP. TP locusts have inhabited Tibetan Plateau for over 34,000 years and thus probably have evolved superior capacity to cope with hypoxia.

ResultsHere we compared the hypoxic responses of TP and NP locusts from morphological, behavioral, and physiological perspectives. We found that TP locusts were more tolerant of extreme hypoxia than NP locusts. To evaluate why TP locusts respond to extreme hypoxia differently from NP locusts, we subjected them to extreme hypoxia and compared their transcriptional responses. We found that the aerobic metabolism was less affected in TP locusts than in NP locusts. RNAi disruption of PDHE1β, an entry gene from glycolysis to TCA cycle, increased the ratio of stupor in TP locusts and decreased the ATP content of TP locusts in hypoxia, confirming that aerobic metabolism is critical for TP locusts to maintain activity in hypoxia.

ConclusionsOur results indicate that TP and NP locusts have undergone divergence in hypoxia tolerance. These findings also indicate that insects can adapt to hypoxic pressure by modulating basic metabolic processes.

KeywordsHypoxia Microarray Locusta migratoria Tibet AbbreviationsNPNorth China population

TPTibetan population

DEGDifferentially expressed gene

PDHPyruvate dehydrogenase

pO2Partial oxygen pressure.

Electronic supplementary materialThe online version of this article doi:10.1186-1471-2164-14-631 contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.

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Author: Dejian Zhao - Zhenyu Zhang - Arianne Cease - Jon Harrison - Le Kang

Source: https://link.springer.com/

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