Adaptation to high-altitude environments has been extensively studied in vertebrates, but studies on invertebrates, especially insects, are very limited. Insects show different characteristics in phenotype, physiology and behavior from vertebrates and thus may have evolved specific mechanisms of high-altitude adaptation. Here, we downloaded clean data/reads of Gynaephora species (alpherakii and menyuanensis) distributed in 3,000 m a.s.l (above sea level) and 4,800 m a.s.l on the Tibetan Plateau (TP), and performed a mixed assembly of these two transcriptomes to construct unigene set of Gynaephora to infer potential genetic mechanisms at gene expression level of high-altitude adaptation in insects. Subsequently, by comparing gene expression of these two Gynaephora species, we obtained 3,238 differentially expressed genes (DEGs), most of which were significantly enriched in mitochondrial function, ATP production and energy metabolism. This study is useful for understanding the adaptation, evolution and speciation of Gynaephora endemic to the TP and provides novel insight into high-altitude adaptation in TP animals.
Gene expression analysis of the tibetan grassland caterpillars (Lepidoptera: Lymantriinae: Gynaephora) in response to high-altitude stress
Qi-Lin Zhang, Ming-Long Yuan, Xian-Yu Deng, Jun Guo, Feng Wang, Lian-Bing Lin, Yu-Jun Wang; Gene expression analysis of the tibetan grassland caterpillars (Lepidoptera: Lymantriinae: Gynaephora) in response to high-altitude stress. AIP Conf. Proc. 28 February 2019; 2079 (1): 020003. https://doi.org/10.1063/1.5092381
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