Comp Biochem Physiol Part D Genomics Proteomics
URL with Digital Object Identifier
The endemic New Zealand alpine stick insect Micrarchus nov. sp. 2 regularly experiences sub-zero temperatures in the wild. 454-based RNA-Seq was used to generate a de novo transcriptome and differentiate between treatments to investigate the genetic basis of cold tolerance. Non cold-treated individuals were compared to those exposed to 0°C for 1 h followed by a 1 h recovery period at 20°C. We aligned 607,410 Roche 454 reads, generating a transcriptome of 5235 contigs. Differential expression analysis ranked candidate cold responsive genes for qPCR validation by P-value. The top nine up-regulated candidates, together with eight a priori targets identified from previous studies, had their relative expression quantified using qPCR. Three candidate cold responsive genes from the RNA-Seq data were verified as significantly up-regulated, annotated as: prolyl 4-hydroxylase subunit alpha-1 (P4HA1), staphylococcal nuclease domain-containing protein 1 (snd1) and cuticular protein analogous to peritrophins 3-D2 (Cpap3-d2). All three are novel candidate genes, illustrating the varied response to low temperature across insects.