Temperature effects on the proteome of Ciona intestinalis

Chelsea Lopez, University of Rhode Island


Ciona intestinalis is a solitary ascidian that lives in temperate waters around the globe. C. intestinalis in Rhode Island exhibit normal embryonic development at water temperatures between 10° C and 18° C. This thesis is interested in what changes occur in the ovary tissue at temperatures above 18° C and below 10° C. A preliminary study to assess the reproductive fitness of C. intestinalis , found that C. intestinalis raised at 22 °C had lower embryo viability when compared to the normal temperature range. 22 °C was chosen to mimic the high temperature predicted in some climate change models (IPCC, 2014). During the coldest part of the winter when temperatures drop below 8 °C, feeding slows, the production of gametes ceases, and much of the ovary tissue is resorbed (Dybern, 1965). Ovary samples were collected from animals reared at 18 °C, 22 °C, and from a non-temperature controlled tank at 8 ºC. The samples were processed and sequenced by mass spectrometry. The data showed a decrease in the number of proteins produced between 18 ºC and 22 ºC samples. It also showed that there were more proteins upregulated in 22 °C compared to the 18 °C samples. Over the winter, the number of proteins also decreases when compared to 18 °C, and metabolic pathways were downregulated. Due to the lack of methods for ecological studies dealing with proteomic data, new methods were developed for both tissue and data processing.

Subject Area

Biology|Climate Change

Recommended Citation

Chelsea Lopez, "Temperature effects on the proteome of Ciona intestinalis" (2016). Dissertations and Master's Theses (Campus Access). Paper AAI10191174.