Background: Responses to hypoxia have been investigated in many species; however, comparative study between conspecific geographical populations in different altitude regions is rare, especially for invertebrates . The migratory locust, Locusta migratoria, is widely distributed both on high-altitude Tibetan Plateau (TP) and on low-altitude North China Plain (NP). TP locusts have inhabited Tibetan Plateau since Quaternary glaciations events and thus probably have evolved superior capacity to deal with hypoxia. Results: Here 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, with a lower proportion exhibiting stupor, a faster recovery time, and higher respiration rates. We compared the transcriptional profiles of field TP and NP locusts and found that their differences were possibly attributed to a combination of multiple factors, e.g. oxygen, UV radiation, temperature and nutrition. 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 more active in TP locusts than in NP locusts. RNAi disruption of PDHE1b, an entry gene from glycolysis to TCA cycle, increased the ratio of stupor in Tibetan locusts and decreased the ATP content of Tibetan locusts in hypoxia, confirming the significant importance of this metabolic branch for TP locusts to conquer hypoxia. Conclusions: Here we show that TP locusts are better tolerant of hypoxia than NP locusts and the better capacity to modulate primary metabolism in TP locusts contributes to their superior tolerance of hypoxia compared to NP locusts. FIELD POPULATION: TP locusts vs. NP locusts;direct comparison on 6 separate microarrays; each microarray compares one biological replicate; each biological replicate contains 10 individuals. LAB POPULATION: hypoxia-treated TP locusts vs TP locusts in normoxia; hypoxia-treated NP locusts vs NP locusts in normoxia; direct comparison on 6 separate microarrays; each microarray compares one biological replicate; each biological replicate contains 10 individuals.
|Date made available||2013|