Schill, Ralph O. ; Gayle, Peter M. H.; Koehler, Heinz-R.
Author Affiliation, Ana.
Centre for Marine Sciences
Daily stress protein (hsp70) cycle in chitons (Acanthopleura Granulata Gmelin, 1791) which inhabit the rocky intertidal shoreline in a tropical ecosystem
Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology C toxicology & Pharmacology 131C
Date of Publication
Stress protein (heat shock protein, hsp70) response is involved in protecting organisms from the detrimental effects of environmental stressors, such as radiation and high temperatures. Tropical chitons can briefly tolerate high temperatures. However, they minimize the effects of elevated temperature during daylight hours and periods of tidal air exposure by remaining in rocky intertidal microhabitats along the shoreline of tropical waters. To study the natural variability of the hsp70 level, individuals of the polyplacophoran species Acanthopleura Granulata Gmelin, 1791 were sampled every 4 h on two days in spring of 1999. Hsp70 levels were separately measured in the supernatant of the intestinal tract and foot muscle homogenates with a standardized immunoassay. The hsp70 level in the intestinal tract was highest in the early morning, decreased during the mid-morning hours and dropped to a comparatively low level in the afternoon, before increasing again during the night. The stress protein level in the foot muscle followed the daily air temperature curve with a time delay of a few hours, reaching the highest level in the afternoon and the lowest level in the early morning. The stress protein response can be interpreted as a sign of heat tolerance development and may play a role in allowing A. granulata to tolerate the temperature variability typical of its intertidal habitat.....