Revealing the profound influence of diapause on gene expression: Insights from the annual transcriptome of the copepod Calanus finmarchicus

Laura Payton, Kim S. Last, Jordan Grigor, Céline Noirot, Lukas Hüppe, David V. P. Conway, Mona Dannemeyer, David Wilcockson, Bettina Meyer

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Abstract

Annual rhythms are observed in living organisms with numerous ecological implications. In the zooplanktonic copepod Calanus finmarchicus, such rhythms are crucial regarding its phenology, body lipid accumulation, and global carbon storage. Climate change drives annual biological rhythms out of phase with the prevailing environmental conditions with yet unknown but potentially catastrophic consequences. However, the molecular dynamics underlying phenology are still poorly described. In a rhythmic analysis of C. finmarchicus annual gene expression, results reveal that more than 90% of the transcriptome shows significant annual rhythms, with abrupt and dramatic upheaval between the active and diapause life cycle states. This work explores the implication of the circadian clock in the annual timing, which may control epigenetic mechanisms to profoundly modulate gene expression in response to calendar time. Results also suggest an increased light sensitivity during diapause that would ensure the photoperiodic entrainment of the endogenous annual clock.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages17
JournalMolecular ecology
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 7 Jun 2024

Keywords

  • annual rhythms
  • circadian clock
  • copepods
  • diapause
  • transcriptome
  • zooplankton

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