Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Abstract

Endoplasmic reticulum unfolded protein response modulates the adaptation of Trachemys scripta elegans in salinity water.

Abstract

Trachemys scripta elegans, as a freshwater invasive species, can survive and lay eggs in brackish water, which may lead to the expansion of its potential invasion range due to freshwater salinization. Our previous studies have shown that high salinity leads to the accumulation of serum lipid content, which may induce endoplasmic reticulum stress (ERS) in the turtle. To better understand whether ERS is triggered by salinity, and in turn whether the turtles promote the protection mechanism, we exposed the turtles to the freshwater (CK), 5‰ salinity water (S5) and 15‰ salinity water (S15), and sampled at 6 h, 24 h and 30 d. 13 differentially expressed genes (DEGs) related to ERS pathways were found in the comparison of CK vs. S15 by transcriptomics analysis. Then, the mRNA and protein expression of ERS and its related activation pathways were further investigated. ERS marker glucose regulated protein 78 kD (GRP78) increased significantly (p < 0.05) in both the transcript and protein levels after exposure to 15‰ salinity water, which clearly indicated that salinity could induce ERS in T. s. elegans. Meanwhile, the three unfolded protein response (UPR) including transducers protein kinase RNA (PKR)-like endoplasmic reticulum kinase (PERK), inositol-requiring enzyme 1α (IRE1α) and activating transcription factor-6 (ATF6) were promoted by salinity, suggesting that the turtle might promote physiological process to eliminate damaged cells and cope with unfolded proteins accumulation induced by ERS. Our results provide new insight into the mechanism of salinity adaptation in T. s. elegans and salt-tolerant biological invasion.