Meeting Abstract

28.1  Wednesday, Jan. 4  Comparative functional genomics of diapause: common physiological pathways and their connections with stress responses. RAGLAND, Gregory J.*; HAHN, Daniel A.; University of Notre Dame; University of Florida

Many arthropods enter diapause, a state of developmental and metabolic suppression, to avoid exposure to harsh or resource-poor environments. Though diapause seems to be evolutionarily labile and has evolved independently many times, ad hoc, gene-by-gene inspection of expression data suggests that there are physiological commonalities. Moreover, these apparent commonalities in diapause include the expression of genes also implicated in various metabolic, stress, and aging responses, consistent with the ecological role of diapause in energy conservation and environmental buffering. Here I use comparative genomic tools with transcript profiling data from several species to test: 1) whether a core set of physiological pathways or co-regulated gene sets unite diapause responses across insects, and 2) whether there is functional overlap between diapause-associated gene expression and expression patterns associated with several stress/aging responses characterized in Drosophila melanogaster. I discuss the common physiological features of diapause in the context of convergent and divergent selection pressures on environmental tolerance and synchronization of seasonal life histories.