The involvement of heat-inducible genes, including the heat-shock genes, in the acute response to temperature stress is well established. However, their importance in genetic adaptation to long-term temperature stress is less clear. Here we use high-density arrays to examine changes in expression for 35 heat-inducible genes in three independent lines of Escherichia coli that evolved at high temperature (41.5°C) for 2,000 generations. These lines exhibited significant changes in heat-inducible gene expression relative to their ancestor, including parallel changes in fkpA, gapA, and hslT. As a group, the heat-inducible genes were significantly more likely than noncandidate genes to have evolved changes in expression. Genes encoding molecular chaperones and ATP-dependent proteases, key components of the cytoplasmic stress response, exhibit relatively little expression change; whereas genes with periplasmic functions exhibit significant expression changes suggesting a key role for the extracytoplasmic stress response in the adaptation to high temperature. Following acclimation at 41.5°C, two of the three lines exhibited significantly improved survival at 50°C, indicating changes in inducible thermotolerance. Thus evolution at high temperature led to significant changes at the molecular level in heat-inducible gene expression and at the organismal level in inducible thermotolerance and fitness.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||12|
|State||Published - Oct 2003|
- Arabinose-utilization phenotype
- Functional genomics
- Heat-shock response
- Stress genes