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Data from: Maternal loading of a small heat shock protein increases embryo thermal tolerance in Drosophila melanogaster

Citation

Lockwood, Brent L.; Julick, Cole R.; Montooth, Kristi L. (2017), Data from: Maternal loading of a small heat shock protein increases embryo thermal tolerance in Drosophila melanogaster, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.55cc1

Abstract

Maternal investment is likely to have direct effects on offspring survival. In oviparous animals whose embryos are exposed to the external environment, maternal provisioning of molecular factors like mRNAs and proteins may help embryos cope with sudden changes in the environment. Here we sought to modify the maternal mRNA contribution to offspring embryos and test for maternal effects on acute thermal tolerance in early embryos of Drosophila melanogaster. We drove in vivo overexpression of a small heat shock protein gene (Hsp23) in female ovaries and measured the effects of acute thermal stress on offspring embryonic survival and larval development. We report that overexpression of the Hsp23 gene in female ovaries produced offspring embryos with increased thermal tolerance. We also found that brief heat stress in the early embryonic stage (0 to 1 hour-old) caused decreased larval performance later in life (5 to 10 days-old), as indexed by pupation height. Maternal overexpression of Hsp23 protected embryos against this heat-induced defect in larval performance. Our data demonstrate that transient products of single genes have large and lasting effects on whole-organism environmental tolerance. Further, our results suggest that maternal effects have a profound impact on offspring survival in the context of thermal variability.

Usage Notes

Funding

National Science Foundation, Award: IOS-1505247