Data from: Adaptive differences in gene expression associated with heavy metal tolerance in the soil arthropod Orchesella cincta

  • Dick Roelofs (Contributor)
  • Thierry K. S. Janssens (Contributor)
  • Martijn J. T. N. Timmermans (Contributor)
  • Benjamin Nota (Contributor)
  • Janine Mariën (Contributor)
  • Zoltán Bochdanovits (Contributor)
  • Bauke Ylstra (Contributor)
  • Nico van Straalen (Contributor)



Field-selected tolerance to heavy metals has been reported for Orchesella cincta (Arthropoda: Collembola) populations occurring at metal-contaminated mining sites. This tolerance is correlated with heritable increase of metal excretion efficiency; less pronounced cadmium (Cd) induced growth reduction and, over-expression of the metallothionein gene. We applied transcriptomics to determine differential gene expression caused by this abiotic stress in reference and Cd tolerant populations. Many cDNAs responded to Cd exposure in the reference population. Significantly fewer clones were Cd responsive in tolerant animals. Analysis of variance revealed transcripts that interact between Cd exposure and population. Hierarchical cluster analysis of these clones identified two major groups. The first one contained cDNAs that were up regulated by Cd in the reference culture, but non-responsive or down regulated in tolerant animals. This cluster was also characterized by elevated constitutive expression in the tolerant population. Gene ontology analysis revealed that these cDNAs were involved in structural integrity of the cuticle, anti-microbial defense, calcium-channel blocking, sulfur assimilation and chromatin remodeling. The second group consisted of cDNAs down regulated in reference animals but not responding or slightly up regulated in tolerant animals. Their functions involved carbohydrate metabolic processes, Ca2+ dependent stress signaling, redox state, proteolysis and digestion. The reference population showed a strong signature of stress-induced genome-wide perturbation of gene expression, whereas the tolerant animals maintained normal gene expression upon Cd exposure. We confirmed the micro-evolutionary processes occurring in soil arthropod populations and suggest a major contribution of gene regulation to the evolution of a stress-adapted phenotype.,MaanovainputCadOC.txtInput file for biostatistical analysis of the microarray data using R package Maanova. ID: DNA sequence identifier for each probe on the array. DNA sequences can be retrieved from,
Date made available1 Jan 2010
PublisherUnknown Publisher

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