PloS one

Phenotypic plasticity of HSP70s gene expression during diapause: signs of evolutionary responses to cold stress among Soybean Pod Borer populations (Leguminivora glycinivorella) in Northeast of China.

PMID 25330365


The soybean pod borer (Leguminivora glycinivorella Matsumura) successfully survives the winter because of its high expression of 70-kDa heat shock proteins (HSP70s) during its overwintering diapause. The amount of HSP70s is different under different environmental stresses. In this study, inducible heat shock protein 70 and its constitutive heat shock cognate 70 were cloned by RT-PCR and RACE. These genes were named Lg-hsp70 and Lg-hsc70, respectively. Gene transcription and protein expression after cold stress treatment (5°C to -5°C) were analyzed by western blotting and by qRT-PCR for four populations that were sampled in the northeast region of China, including Shenyang, Gongzhuling, Harbin and Heihe, when the soybean pod borer was in diapause. As the cold shock temperature decreased, the levels of Lg-HSP70s were significantly up-regulated. The amount of cold-induced Lg-HSP70s was highest in the southernmost population (Shenyang, 41°50'N) and lowest in the northernmost population (Heihe, 50°22'N). These results support the hypothesis that the soybean pod borer in the northeast region of China displays phenotypic plasticity, and the accumulation of Lg-HSP70s is a strategy for overcoming environmental stress. These results also suggest that the induction of HSP70 synthesis, which is a complex physiological adaptation, can evolve quickly and inherit stability.