Mediator of mRNA Transcription Associated with Recovery from Heat Stress in the Montane Leaf Beetle Chrysomela Aeneicollis
Adaptation to local thermal environment is important for every organism, and we expect any species whose range extends across different latitudes to show preference for certain alleles that confer higher fitness under local temperature regimes. We employed whole-genome resequencing to search for genes that relate to thermal response in the leaf beetle Chrysomela aeneicollis, which inhabits high-elevation drainages along a latitudinal gradient in the eastern Sierra Nevada. Our genome-wide association study analyzes how variations across the beetle genome impact the beetles’ running speed, which correlates with metabolic rate, following exposure to high temperature. We identified a significant association between running speed and a subunit of the Mediator complex, a coactivator of mRNA transcription. Our results provide insights into the role that transcriptional regulation plays in the thermal response of wild organisms, and how they may respond to a warming environment.