In this month’s issue of the Journal of Shellfish Research, results from a research project carried out in the lab section of FISH441: Integrative Environmental Physiology was published. David Metzger, a recent graduate from our lab, is the first author on the paper entitled: Characterizing the Effects of Heavy Metal and Vibrio Exposure on Hsp70 Expression in Crassostrea gigas Gill Tissue. Not only does this work demonstrate a role of HSPs in metal exposure, but nicely demonstrates that gene expression and protein expression can be inconsistent.

An excerpt from the manuscript:

This study illustrates that environmental stressors can influence Hsp70 gene and protein expression in a discordant fashion. We did not observe an effect of environmentally relevant levels of V. tubiashii (Elston et al. 2008) on Hsp70 expression, and presumably the bacterial exposure did not impact the physiological response to copper significantly. The influence of copper on Hsp70 regulation in oysters appears to be different compared with closely related species, which could offer an interesting system to study Hsp70 dynamics in greater detail. Understanding the mechanisms responsible for this apparent difference in the sensitivity of Hsp70 regulation between species could help us understand mechanisms underlying species resilience more completely. These findings highlight important considerations that should be taken when using Hsp70 as an indicator of environmental stress and the associated physiological response.


This was one of the 5 most read papers in JSR for the month of September!

Environmental stress can influence Hsp70 expression in a discordant fashion