Thermal acclimation uncovers a simple genetic basis of adaptation to high temperature in a cosmopolitan pest

Shijun You, Gaoke Lei, Huiling Zhou, Jianyu Li, Shaoping Chen, Jieling Huang, Liette Vasseur, Geoff M. Gurr, Minsheng You, Yanting Chen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Understanding a population's fitness heterogeneity and genetic basis of thermal adaptation is essential for predicting the responses to global warming. We examined the thermotolerance and genetic adaptation of Plutella xylostella to exposure to hot temperatures. The population fitness parameters of the hot-acclimated DBM strains varied in the thermal environments. Using genome scanning and transcription profiling, we find a number of genes potentially involved in thermal adaptation of DBM. Editing two ABCG transporter genes, PxWhite and PxABCG, confirmed their role in altering cuticle permeability and influencing thermal responses. Our results demonstrate that SNP mutations in genes and changes in gene expression can allow DBM to rapidly adapt to thermal environment. ABCG transporter genes play an important role in thermal adaptation of DBM. This work improves our understanding of genetic adaptation mechanisms of insects to thermal stress and our capacity to predict the effects of rising global temperatures on ectotherms.
Original languageEnglish
Article number109242
JournaliScience
Volume27
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 15 Mar 2024

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