Cell Stress and Chaperones

, Volume 14, Issue 4, pp 439–443 | Cite as

Differences in heat shock protein 70 expression during larval and early spat development in the Eastern oyster, Crassostrea virginica (Gmelin, 1791)

  • Nobuo Ueda
  • Anne BoettcherEmail author
Short Communication


For a variety of species, changes in the expression of heat shock proteins (HSP) have been linked to key developmental changes, i.e., gametogenesis, embryogenesis, and metamorphosis. Many marine invertebrates are known to have a biphasic life cycle where pelagic larvae go through settlement and metamorphosis as they transition to the benthic life stage. A series of experiments were run to examine the expression of heat shock protein 70 (HSP 70) during larval and early spat (initial benthic phase) development in the Eastern oyster, Crassostrea virginica. In addition, the impact of thermal stress on HSP 70 expression during these early stages was studied. C. virginica larvae and spat expressed three HSP 70 isoforms, two constitutive, HSC 77 and HSC 72, and one inducible, HSP 69. We found differences in the expression of both the constitutive and inducible forms of HSP 70 among larval and early juvenile stages and in response to thermal stress. Low expression of HSP 69 during early larval and spat development may be associated with the susceptibility of these stages to environmental stress. Although developmental regulation of HSP 70 expression has been widely recognized, changes in its expression during settlement and metamorphosis of marine invertebrates are still unknown. The results of the current study demonstrated a reduction of HSP 70 expression during settlement and metamorphosis in the Eastern oyster, C. virginica.


Eastern oyster Heat shock protein 70 Larvae Settlement and metamorphosis Spat 



Deoxyribonucleic acid


Heat shock cognate/constitutive


Heat shock protein


Polymerase chain reaction


Sodium dodecyl sulfate



The authors would like to thank the Auburn University Shellfish Laboratory, particularly Scott Rikard, for providing oyster larvae and spat samples. We thank John Freeman, Tim Sherman, Richard Wallace, and Kevin Fielman for valuable suggestions and stimulating discussions of our manuscript. We would also like to thank Dan Martin and two anonymous reviewers for valuable comments on this paper. This research was made possible by funding from the Alabama Oyster Reef Restoration Program, National Marine Fisheries Service.


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Copyright information

© Cell Stress Society International 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Biological SciencesAuburn UniversityAuburnUSA
  2. 2.Department of Biology, LSCB 124University of South AlabamaMobileUSA

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