Starvation resistance and tissue-specific gene expression of stress-related genes in a naturally inbred ant population
Bos, Nick; Pulliainen, Unni; Sundström, Liselotte; Freitak, Dalial (2016). Starvation resistance and tissue-specific gene expression of stress-related genes in a naturally inbred ant population. Royal Society Open Science, 3 (4), 160062. DOI: 10.1098/rsos.160062
Published inRoyal Society Open Science
DisciplineEkologia ja evoluutiobiologiaBiologisten vuorovaikutusten huippututkimusyksikköEcology and Evolutionary BiologyCenter of Excellence in Biological Interactions Research
© 2016 The Authors. Published by the Royal Society under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License.
Starvation is one of the most common and severe stressors in nature. Not only does it lead to death if not alleviated, it also forces the starved individual to allocate resources only to the most essential processes. This creates energetic trade-offs which can lead to many secondary challenges for the individual. These energetic trade-offs could be exacerbated in inbred individuals, which have been suggested to have a less efficient metabolism. Here, we studied the effect of inbreeding on starvation resistance in a natural population of Formica exsecta ants, with a focus on survival and tissue-specific expression of stress, metabolism and immunity-related genes. Starvation led to large tissue-specific changes in gene expression, but inbreeding had little effect on most of the genes studied. Our results illustrate the importance of studying stress responses in different tissues instead of entire organisms.