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High resistance to oxidative damage in the Antarctic midge Belgica antarctica, and developmentally linked expression of genes encoding superoxide dismutase, catalase and heat shock proteins

Department of Entomology, Ohio State University, Columbus, OH 43210, USA
Insect Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (Impact Factor: 3.42). 09/2008; 38(8):796-804. DOI: 10.1016/j.ibmb.2008.05.006
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Intense ultraviolet radiation, coupled with frequent bouts of freezing–thawing and anoxia, have the potential to generate high levels of oxidative stress in Antarctic organisms. In this study, we examined mechanisms used by the Antarctic midge, Belgica antarctica, to counter oxidative stress. We cloned genes encoding two key antioxidant enzymes, superoxide dismutase (SOD) and catalase (Cat), and showed that SOD mRNA was expressed continuously and at very high levels in larvae, but not in adults, while Cat mRNA was expressed in both larvae and adults but at a somewhat reduced level. SOD mRNA was expressed at even higher levels in larvae that were exposed to direct sunlight. Catalase, a small heat shock protein, Hsp70 and Hsp90 mRNAs were also strongly upregulated in response to sunlight. Total antioxidant capacity of the adults was higher than that of the larvae, but levels in both stages of the midge were much higher than observed in a freeze-tolerant, temperate zone insect, the gall fly Eurosta solidaginis. Assays to measure oxidative damage (lipid peroxidation TBARS and carbonyl proteins) demonstrated that the Antarctic midge is highly resistant to oxidative stress.

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    • "Effects of UV radiation on different insect biological processes, such as developmental physiology (Gunn 1998), biochemistry (Meng et al. 2009, 2010), and behavior (Leech and Johnsen 2003, Cowan and Gries 2009), have also been reported. Furthermore, UV radiation causes oxidative stress and photoreceptor damage in insects (Meyer-Rochow and Mishra 2007, Lopez-Martinez et al. 2008, Meng et al. 2009). The citrus whitefly Dialeurodes citri (Ashmead; Homoptera: Aleyrodidae) is a destructive pest of citrus orchards in China. "
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    • "Effects of UV radiation on different insect biological processes, such as developmental physiology (Gunn 1998), biochemistry (Meng et al. 2009, 2010), and behavior (Leech and Johnsen 2003, Cowan and Gries 2009), have also been reported. Furthermore, UV radiation causes oxidative stress and photoreceptor damage in insects (Meyer-Rochow and Mishra 2007, Lopez-Martinez et al. 2008, Meng et al. 2009). The citrus whitefly Dialeurodes citri (Ashmead; Homoptera: Aleyrodidae) is a destructive pest of citrus orchards in China. "
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    • "In aquatic organisms, higher environmental temperatures also resulted in similar results where oxidative stress was accompanied by a higher level of lipid peroxidation (An and Choi, 2010). TAC is a tool to assess redox status of all antioxidants existing in an organism (Ghiselli et al., 2000; Martinez et al., 2008; Meng et al., 2009; Yang et al., 2010). In this study, TAC exhibited a significant increase when compared to the control and may be sufficient to deal with oxidative stress and free radical formulation. "
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