Proteome variance differences within populations of European whitefish (Coregonus lavaretus) originating from contrasting salinity environments

S Papakostas, A Vasemägi, Mikael Himberg, CR Primmer

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

    11 Citations (Scopus)


    Variation in gene expression is an important component of the phenotypic differences observed in nature. Gene expression variance across biological groups and environmental conditions has been studied extensively and has revealed specific genes and molecular mechanisms of interest. However, little is known regarding the importance of within-population gene expression variation to environmental adaptation. To address this issue, we quantified the proteomes of individuals of European whitefish (Coregonus lavaretus) from populations that have previously been shown to have adapted during early development to freshwater and brackishwater salinity environments. Using MS-based label-free proteomics, we studied 955 proteins in eight hatch-stage fish embryos from each population that had been reared in either freshwater or brackishwater salinity conditions. By comparing the levels of within-population protein expression variance over individuals and per protein between populations, we found that fish embryos from the population less affected by salinity level had also markedly higher levels of expression variance. Gene Ontologies and molecular pathways associated with osmoregulation showed the most significant difference of within-population proteome variance between populations. Several new candidate genes for salinity adaptation were identified, emphasising the added value of combining assessments of within-population gene expression variation with standard gene expression analysis practices for better understanding the mechanisms of environmental adaptation.
    Original languageUndefined/Unknown
    Pages (from-to)144–150
    Number of pages7
    JournalJournal of Proteomics
    Publication statusPublished - 2014
    MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


    • Baltic Sea
    • Early-life development
    • G-protein coupled receptors
    • Label-free proteomics
    • Salinity stress

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