Quantitative analysis of oyster larval proteome provides new insights into the effects of multiple climate change stressors

The metamorphosis of planktonic larvae of the Pacific oyster (Crassostrea gigas) underpins their complex life-history strategy by switching on the molecular machinery required for sessile life and building calcite shells. Metamorphosis becomes a survival bottleneck, which will be pressured by different anthropogenically induced climate change-related variables. Therefore, it is important to understand how metamorphosing larvae interact with emerging climate change stressors. To predict how larvae might be affected in a future ocean, we examined changes in the proteome of metamorphosing larvae under multiple stressors: decreased pH (pH 7.4), increased temperature (30 °C), and reduced salinity (15 psu). Quantitative protein expression profiling using iTRAQ-LC-MS/MS identified more than 1300 proteins. Decreased pH had a negative effect on metamorphosis by down-regulating several proteins involved in energy production, metabolism, and protein synthesis. However, warming switched on these down-regulated pathways at pH 7.4. Under multiple stressors, cell signaling, energy production, growth, and developmental pathways were up-regulated, although metamorphosis was still reduced. Despite the lack of lethal effects, significant physiological responses to both individual and interacting climate change related stressors were observed at proteome level. The metamorphosing larvae of the C. gigas population in the Yellow Sea appear to have adequate phenotypic plasticity at the proteome level to survive in future coastal oceans, but with developmental and physiological costs. In order to allow full comparability with other ocean acidification data sets, the R package seacarb (Gattuso et al, 2015) was used to compute a complete and consistent set of carbonate system variables, as described by Nisumaa et al. (2010). In this dataset the original values were archived in addition with the recalculated parameters (see related PI). The date of carbonate chemistry calculation is 2016-10-24.