Meeting Abstract

P1.65  Wednesday, Jan. 4  Differential whole animal and cellular level response to salinity stress in two color morphs of Carcinus maenas PENNOYER, Kelly*; FREDERICH, Markus; University of New England; University of New England

The green crab, Carcinus maenas is polymorphic in ventral carapace coloration. Crabs are green after molting and become dark red after prolonged intermolt. Previous studies have shown changes in the organismic physiology of these crabs, showing that the red morphs are less tolerant to environmental changes. Cellular data to complement the differential whole animal response is lacking. We tested the hypothesis that the cellular response to salinity stress reflects the whole animal response. Red and green morphs were incubated in 10ppt salinity for 24, 48 and 72 h. On the whole animal level oxygen consumption, reaction time, running endurance on a treadmill, reaction time and hemolymph osmolarity were measured. These data align with previous studies stating the red morphs are less tolerant to low salinity. On the cellular level changes in mRNA expression, protein levels, and/or activity were measured for ion transporters and associated enzymes (Na+/K+-ATPase, membrane bound and cytoplasmic carbonic anhydrase, Na+-K+-2Cl--cotransporter, Na+/H+ exchanger, and NH3H+-cotransporter) and the cellular stress markers AMPK and HSP70. Preliminary results show differential gene and protein expression and activity levels in the two color morphs. For most measured parameters red morphs showed lower mRNA, protein and activity levels at control conditions and changed more than green morphs during salinity stress. This indicates that also on the cellular level the red morphs are less tolerant to low salinity exposure than the green morphs. These findings represent the first data on differential cellular response to salinity stress in the two color morphs of Carcinus maenas. Funded by NSF IOB0640478 and DGE0841361.