Selection for cold resistance alters gene transcript levels in Drosophila melanogaster

J Insect Physiol. 2009 Jun;55(6):549-55. doi: 10.1016/j.jinsphys.2009.01.010. Epub 2009 Feb 14.


Microarrays have been used to examine changes in gene expression underlying responses to selection for increased stress resistance in Drosophila melanogaster, but changes in expression patterns associated with increased resistance to cold stress have not been previously reported. Here we describe such changes in basal expression levels in replicate lines following selection for increased resistance to chill coma stress. We found significant up- or down-regulation of expression in 94 genes on the Affymetrix Genome 2.0 array. Quantitative RT-PCR was used to confirm changes in expression of six genes. Some of the identified genes had previously been associated with stress resistance but no previously identified candidate genes for cold resistance showed altered patterns of expression. Seven differentially expressed genes that form a tight chromosomal cluster and an unlinked gene AnnX may be potentially important for cold adaptation in natural populations. Artificial selection for chill coma resistance therefore altered basal patterns of gene expression, but we failed to link these changes to plastic changes in expression under cold stress or to previously identified candidate genes for components of cold resistance.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cold Temperature
  • Drosophila Proteins / genetics
  • Drosophila Proteins / metabolism
  • Drosophila melanogaster / genetics
  • Drosophila melanogaster / physiology*
  • Gene Expression Profiling
  • Gene Expression Regulation*
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Transcription, Genetic*


  • Drosophila Proteins