Signaling pathways of heat- and hypersalinity-induced polyp bailout in \(\textit {Pocillopora acuta}\)

  • Polyp bailout is a drastic response to acute stress where coral coloniality breaks down and polyps detach. We induced polyp bailout in \(\textit {Pocillopora acuta}\) with heat stress and tested for differential gene expression using RNAseq and a qPCR assay. Furthermore, we induced polyp bailout with hypersalinity and compared the results to identify stressor-independent signals and pathways active during polyp bailout. Both stressors led to the onset of polyp bailout and the detachment of vital polyps. We observed activation of microbe-associated molecular pattern receptors and downstream signaling pathways of the innate immune system. Further, we detected growth factors and genes active during Wnt-signaling potentially contributing to wound healing, regeneration, and proliferation. Upregulation of several genes encoding for matrix metalloproteinases and the fibroblast growth factor signaling pathway are the most likely involved in the remodeling of the extracellular matrix, as well as in the detachment of polyps from the calcareous skeleton during polyp bailout. Expression of genes of interest in our qPCR assay of vital polyps from our heat-stress experiment, showed a trend for a normalization of gene expression after polyp bailout. Our results provide new insights into the signaling cascades leading to the observed physiological responses during polyp bailout. Comparison between the two stressors showed that certain signaling pathways are independent of the stressor and suggested that polyp bailout is a general response of corals to acute stress. Furthermore, immune system responses during polyp bailout indicate that microbe-associated partners of corals may lead to the polyp bailout response.

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Author:Fabian GösserORCiDGND, Arne Peter RaulfGND, Axel MosigORCiDGND, Ralph TollrianORCiDGND, Maximilian SchweinsbergGND
Parent Title (English):Coral reefs
Place of publication:Berlin
Document Type:Article
Date of Publication (online):2024/01/18
Date of first Publication:2021/11/09
Publishing Institution:Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Universitätsbibliothek
Tag:Polyp bailout; Signaling pathways; Stress response; Transcriptome
First Page:1713
Last Page:1728
Dieser Beitrag ist auf Grund des DEAL-Springer-Vertrages frei zugänglich.
Institutes/Facilities:Lehrstuhl für Evolutionsökologie und Biodiversität der Tiere
Dewey Decimal Classification:Naturwissenschaften und Mathematik / Biowissenschaften, Biologie, Biochemie
open_access (DINI-Set):open_access
faculties:Fakultät für Biologie und Biotechnologie
Licence (English):License LogoCreative Commons - CC BY 4.0 - Attribution 4.0 International