Comparison of sister species identifies factors underpinning plastid compatibility in green sea slugs.

de Vries, J., Wöhle, Christian, Christa, G., Wagele, H., Tielens, A. G. M., Jahns, P. and Gould, S. B. (2015) Comparison of sister species identifies factors underpinning plastid compatibility in green sea slugs. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 282 (1802). p. 20142519. DOI 10.1098/rspb.2014.2519.

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Supplementary data:


The only animal cells known that can maintain functional plastids (kleptoplasts) in their cytosol occur in the digestive gland epithelia of sacoglossan slugs. Only a few species of the many hundred known can profit from kleptoplasty during starvation long-term, but why is not understood. The two sister taxa Elysia cornigera and Elysia timida sequester plastids from the same algal species, but with a very different outcome: while E. cornigera usually dies within the first two weeks when deprived of food, E. timida can survive for many months to come. Here we compare the responses of the two slugs to starvation, blocked photosynthesis and light stress. The two species respond differently, but in both starvation is the main denominator that alters global gene expression profiles. The kleptoplasts' ability to fix CO2 decreases at a similar rate in both slugs during starvation, but only E. cornigera individuals die in the presence of functional kleptoplasts, concomitant with the accumulation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) in the digestive tract. We show that profiting from the acquisition of robust plastids, and key to E. timida's longer survival, is determined by an increased starvation tolerance that keeps ROS levels at bay.

Document Type: Article
Keywords: starvation sacoglossa kleptoplasty reactive oxygen species invertebrates photosynthetic slugs
Research affiliation: Kiel University
Kiel University > Kiel Marine Science
OceanRep > The Future Ocean - Cluster of Excellence
Refereed: Yes
Open Access Journal?: No
DOI etc.: 10.1098/rspb.2014.2519
ISSN: 0962-8452
Date Deposited: 16 Jan 2018 11:29
Last Modified: 23 Sep 2019 23:36

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