Heat-shock response in Patagonian gastropods

Rocío Nieto-Vilela, Federico Márquez, Gregorio Bigatti, Sebastian Giulianelli


The physiological process to counteract environmental stress are extremely diverse in marine species that inhabit intertidal zones. Ecological approaches have demonstrated a variety of adaptations among narrowly distributed species. The present study is focused on physiological responses of two key marine gastropods from Atlantic Patagonia, living in one of the most stressful intertidal rocky shores of the world: Tegula patagonica and Trophon geversianus. We evaluated the body temperature and its heat-shock response by Hsp70 expression. Our results suggest that T. geversianus, inhabiting the mid-intertidal zone and exposed for longer to aerial conditions, presents better physiological and behavioral adaptations to temperature than T. patagonica, living in the low intertidal with less physical stress. Tegula patagonica seems to have an inefficient thermal defense, an inability to upregulate Hsp70 expression against water temperature increase. Contrariwise, a significant upregulation of Hsp70 was registered in T. geversianus added to a protective behavior of hiding during periods of high temperature. These results will be useful as a reference for monitoring sentinel species to assess real-time changes in coastal intertidal communities due to global warming.

Palabras clave

Thermal stress; Patagonian gastropods; strategies; rocky shores; Hsp70

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